Maine shrimp fishery may reopen, elver catch third-highest ever

Published on
June 10, 2016

A regulatory body managing overseeing marine issues in New England, USA, is considering a proposal that would reopen the Maine shrimp fishery by 2018.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering new regulations that would create state-by-state quotas, new reporting methods and mandatory use of specific fishing gear as part of the effort to allow fishermen to once again catch Maine shrimp, according to the Associated Press

The commission issued a moratorium on the fishery in 2013 after its population plunged and will also soon vote on a proposed extension of the moratorium through 2017. Scientists have blamed global warming on rising water temperatures that have made the Gulf of Maine less hospitable to Maine shrimp.

In other seafood news from Maine, the state’s annual elver season ended on Tuesday, 7 June. An estimated 980 fishermen caught 9,330 pounds of baby eels valued at USD 1,435 (EUR 1,275) per pound, for a total value of USD 13.38 million (EUR 11.89 million) – the third-highest value in the fishery’s history, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Maine’s elver fishermen nearly caught the entire 2016 quota, which was set at 9,688 pounds. The catch was up 77 percent from 2015’s total of 5,269 pounds, when an uncommonly long and cold winter hampered fishermen’s efforts. However, the price-per-pound was down from USD 2,171 (EUR 1,929) in 2015.

Most of Maine’s elver catch is shipped live to Asia, where it is grown to maturity in marine farms and sold in Asian markets – primarily Japan and China, where eel is considered a delicacy.

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