Saving Seafood reports that 4 new elver licenses were handed out to Maine fishermen for 2103 through the state’s lottery system. More than 5,000 Mainers applied for the 4 available slots. Elvers, also called glass eels, are juvenile American eels that are largely sold to Asian markets.

“Last year the elver fishery proved to be one of Maine’s most lucrative and the Department is pleased to provide an opportunity for Mainers to benefit from this valuable resource,” said Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher.

In addition, 4 existing dip-net license holders were awarded the opportunity through a lottery to change their gear to fyke net which, while it increases potential income for the individuals, does not increase overall effort in the fishery, according to the article.

According to Saving Seafood, the amount of elvers landed in Maine waters in 2012 has not been finalized yet, but the total value of the fishery was estimated at $40 million, second only to the lobster industry. During the height of the 2012 season, elvers were valued at approximately $2,600 per pound.

To see and learn more about elvers, watch the BoatingLocal video on these fascinating coastal creatures by  CLICKING HERE.

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