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New Maine eel fishermen are hoping for normalcy in 2021

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PORTLAND, MAIN (AP) – Maine eel fishermen are hoping for a more sustainable season in 2021 as they search for one of New England’s most expensive natural resources.

Fishermen are looking for deer called elver, so they can be sold as seeds to Asian aquaculture companies. After that, they are brought to maturity and sold as food, such as sushi.

Maine is the only significant deer fishery in the United States, sometimes costing more than $ 2,000 per pound.

The season starts on Monday, after the coronavirus epidemic ended, a year later, only 2020. Last year, the prices of eels fell due to the early stages of the epidemic, which disrupted the world economy.

The price of elver fishermen dropped from $ 2,091 to $ 525 last year to $ 525 last year. The industry has suffered as eel is almost exclusively a restaurant product, and the epidemic has closed closed restaurants around the world, says Elter dealer Mitchell Feigenbaum.

Feigenbaum says the economic recovery in China, which is a major buyer, is a good omen for this season.

“Demand is improving. “The price will improve significantly compared to last year, but much lower than in 2019,” he said.

Elver fishermen in Maine also had to contend with the impact of the epidemic on their fishing capacity last year. Last year, the state temporarily suspended fishing in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. Eventually, the Mainz fishermen collected almost all of their baby eel quotas, which is just under ամբողջ 10,000 for all fishing.

Some precautionary measures will be taken this year, said the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

One rule allows elver licensees to allow another licensee to use their gear to steal their quota. This allows fishermen, who may be at higher risk for the coronavirus, to reap the benefits of their quota through a proxy rather than risk the virus.

Fishermen gather nets with rivers and streams throughout the state. Some are in the most remote parts of Maine, while others are in the largest city in the state, Portland. Fishermen, who sometimes land on the river during the normal year, are expected to stay within 6 feet of fishing once this year.

Darrell Young, co-chair of the Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association, said the harvest hoped prices would rise this year.

“I do not think it will be a problem to catch the quota,” Young said. “I think the price may be slipping as the season goes on.”

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