Vote coming soon on new rule to prevent baby eel poaching

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP)—A state committee is scheduled to make a decision this week about whether to tighten controls in the Maine baby eel fishery to prevent poaching.

Baby eels are one of Maine’s most valuable marine resources. They almost always sell for more than $1,000 per pound to dealers. The Maine Department of Marine Resources wants to add a requirement that baby eel exporters in the state notify the Maine Marine Patrol 48 hours before preparing to pack and ship the eels.

The DMR Advisory Council is expected to vote on the proposal on March 6 at 1 p.m. in Augusta.

The baby eels are sold to Asian aquaculture companies that raise them to maturity for use as food. Officials say the new requirement would help thwart illegal, undocumented sales.

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