Skip to comments.NH man cited for 41 lbs of illegal eels in Maine
Posted on 04/09/2013 3:41:04 AM PDT by Daffynition
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Maine's Marine Patrol has cited a New Hampshire man for having tens of thousands of dollars' worth of baby eels without a license in what's being called the biggest case of illegal eel possession in the history of the fishery.
Officials said Monday that 41-year-old Phillip Parker, of Candia, N.H., was summonsed last Wednesday in Newport with 41 pounds of eels, known as elvers. Fishermen have been getting about $2,000 per pound for their catch this season.
(Excerpt) Read more at wgme.com ...
Heck with panning for gold!
I’m trying to understand WHY it’s illegal to have them, and why someone would value them so highly. Are they a delicacy? Are they used in Chinese medicine? They’re way too expensive for bait so it can’t be that.
I know in Alaska they need a couple hundred pounds to feed a dog sled team through the winter.
They are “illegal eels”: hi-capacity assault eels. No one needs those sort of eels. I hear some are even ELECTRIC!
Yum! When can I come over? (I’ve never had a $1000 hoagie.) I’ll bring the beer!
I’m down in the Chesapeake Bay and we use the American eel for Striper fishing. I guess the bait is worth more than the boats.
Is the phrase “illegal eel” all right with the AP? After all, how do the eels feel about being branded “illegal”?
He was hoping to become a meellionaire.
“Can I get me an eel license?”
“baby eels without a license”
I need a license for my pet eel, “Eric”.
What is the rationale for having a law against eel possession?
“undocumented eels” send them all back now.
There are Eels in my hovercraft ping!
I didn’t know a thing about this *cottage industry* either....I did a crash course in elvers:
They are illegal eels: hi-capacity assault eels. No one needs those sort of eels. I hear some are even ELECTRIC!
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
When EELS are outlawed, only outlaws will have EELS.
Do the electric ones have an extension cord or are they solar powered.
Maybe hooked up to windmills?
Don’t know much about eels, but if they are $2,000 dollar a lb. and they are edible, Michelle Obama would be serving them at the White House.
Supply and demand.
Can't we all just agree they deserve a path to citizenship?
I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
Little eels, big bucks, huge lure
IOW, government interference in the free market.
NO eel is illegal.
Who knew? I love unakyu sushi, so keep protecting those eels!
Per the Maine.gov website:
The elver fishery is relatively recent, having begun in the early 1970s to 1978 and recommenced in the early 1990s. The fishery was nonexistent from 1979 to the early 1990s due to a collapse in market demand for elvers. In recent years, market demand has increased dramatically. Elvers are highly valued in the far east (Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea) where they are cultured and reared to adult size for the food fish market. Due to recent intense market demand, elvers have now become the most valuable marine resource in terms of price per pound which varies from $25 to $350. The fishing season for elvers is restricted to March 22 through May 31. Harvest methods are restricted to hand dip net and fyke nets with no more than two fyke nets allowed per license holder, depending on the license holder’s history. Concerns about elver fishing relate to impacts of fyke nets on other species migrating and spawning (smelt, alewives, trout and salmon) in Maine rivers, potential over harvest of eels, and the significance of eels to the ecosystem. Legislation passed in 2006 eliminated new entry into the fishery via the elver lottery. Currently an elver fishing license may be issued only to an individual who possessed an elver fishing license in the previous calendar year
I live in Maine, and there is BIG money in fishing for these elvers, as they are called.
They are caught with small nets and, when caught, they must be kept alive. There is a market for them in China, Korea and Japan, where these baby elvers are grown to full size adults....they are a delicacy in that part of the world, and an expensive delicacy at that. I’ve seen nets, which look like sheets, set up on riverbanks....fresh water that empties into a salt water bay. Other guys have nets at the end of long poles, and they scoop them out of the water. It’s all regulated by the marine fisheries people, and there is some big money to be made. Last year’s haul was $38 million. Expensive sushi.
Roughly 2,000 elvers equals one pound, and the guys who catch them receive anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500 per pound. The season is about two months long.
My neighbor knows a guy who catches these elvers. You have to obtain a license to catch them, by the way. The guy my neighbor knows.....last year, this man made $250,000 catching these elvers.....that’s right, a quarter of a million dollars in two months. The guy bought two new pick up trucks all cash, purchased a cabin (what we call a “camp”) on a lake in northern Maine, and still had plenty of money left over.
Maine and South Carolina are the only two states where it’s legal to catch these elvers, from what I understand. There is no demand for them in the U.S., among consumers.
There is a company locally that buys elvers from the guys who catch them, and then ships them by air to Asia.
It’s illegal to catch them without a licence because it’s poaching. The marine fisheries people are worried about over fishing and depletion of the resource.
Are elver licenses like lobster licenses - 25 year waiting period and severely limited number? Seems to me that the licensing process in Maine is designed to protect the current holders of the licenses and shut out anyone else.
In Texas, those are pin worms. You could shine a flashlight on my butt at night and they would come to the light.
I haven’t heard of a 25 year waiting period for lobster licenses, but the number of licenses are limited as you mentioned.
I’ve heard of apprentice programs for lobster fisherman, but these guys are very clannish and have unwritten rules they apply to themselves.
For instance, there are areas off the coast in which a group of lobstermen set their traps. Lobstermen are limited to a certain number of traps, and if someone outside the group sets up traps on the ocean floor, the new guy gets his lines cut by the guys who consider the area to be “theirs.”
A couple of lobstermen got into a dispute on a island off Maine’s coast about a year ago, and one of them pulled out a firearm and started shooting at the other guy. Fortunately, the guy doing the shooting had bad aim, although he did get arrested.
Lots of rules and regulations are the order of the day, but the lobster fishery is in good shape.
My first question that popped into my head, was, “Yeah, but what’s the street valude?” $2,000/lb., wow. I imagine they are now going to be served at the White House on a fresh bed of arugula...
Next question— are these any relation to the Keebler elvers of Pennsylvania? ;-)
My hovercraft is full of them.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.