Maine Eel Exporters May Need License

Maine fisheries regulators want to begin licensing elver exporters as part of the state’s effort to tighten oversight of a fishery in which a pound of the tiny, squirming eels can fetch hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Elvers, photo/Department of Environmental Conservation.

Portland Press Herald: Maine fisheries regulators want to begin licensing elver exporters as part of the state’s effort to tighten oversight of a fishery in which a pound of the tiny, squirming eels can fetch hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is preparing legislation that would require individuals who ship the baby eels overseas to purchase a $5,000 exporter’s license. The state already licenses both elver fishermen and dealers, so DMR officials said the exporter license will ensure the state is monitoring every aspect of an industry that has drawn poachers and federal scrutiny in recent years.

Read more about the export license requirement under consideration for eel exporters.