BREWER — The Maine Department of Marine Resources will take public comment on proposed changes to the American eel fishery management plan at a hearing at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer on Wednesday, June 6, at 3 p.m. A day later, it will repeat the process at DMR headquarters, 32 Blossom Lane, in Augusta.
Those meetings are among a series to be held in Atlantic coastal states from Maine to Florida to consider the revisions contained in what is known as “draft addendum v” to the Atlantic States Fisheries Management Commission plan that controls the state’s elver fishery that, as of May 15, was worth more than $20 million.
Maine is one of only two states allowed to have a commercial elver fishery under the fishery management plan, and the state may not exceed a total quota of eels caught and sold. “We clearly have to consider additional measures to ensure that Maine can remain compliant with the ASMFC,” DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher said last week in announcing an early shutdown of the Maine elver season.
Among the changes that may be under consideration in addendum v is a substantial increase in Maine’s 9,688-pound elver landing quota established by the ASMFC to protect the American eel resource.