- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine officials say the state’s baby eel fishery has ended for 2016 and it was the most successful of its kind in three years.

Baby eels, called elvers, are sold to Asian aquaculture companies to raise to maturity for use as food. Maine’s eels are in high demand in Asia in part because they can be used to make sushi.

This year’s season began in March and ended on Wednesday. State officials say fishermen caught slightly less than their quota of about 9,700 pounds at a price of almost $1,450 per pound.

The total value of the fishery exceeded the previous two years. Last year’s per-pound price was higher, but the overall catch was held down by harsh winter weather.

Maine has the only significant elver fishery in the country.

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