In the News: maine Elver fishery again profitable

Reprinted in Landings, July, 2017

Maine elver fishermen harvested more than $12 million in elvers during the 2017 season which ended in early June. When the season ended, 9,282 pounds of elvers had been landed, just 334 pounds less than the state quota. Maine’s 1,000 or so licensed elver fishermen on average earned just above $1,300 per pound this year, keeping the average price above $1,000 per pound for the fifth time in the past six years. The highest average price was in 2015, when fishermen earned more than $2,100 per pound. Maine’s elver fishery has been one of the state’s most valuable fisheries since 2011, when changes in
global supply and demand made prices in Maine nearly quintuple, from $185 per pound to nearly $900 per pound. The baby eels, about 2,000 of which comprise a pound, are shipped live to East Asia, where they are raised in aquaculture ponds and later harvested for the region’s seafood market.


Glass eels or elvers. NOAA photo.