- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine’s commercial fishing season for baby eels has the highest value per pound in the state and will soon start for 2016.

The eels, called elvers, are sold to Asian aquaculture companies that raise them to maturity and use them as food. Maine’s elvers were worth a record of $2,172 per pound at the dock in 2015.

This year’s elver season begins on March 22. A legislative committee has approved a proposal to extend the end of the season from May 31 to June 7.

Fishermen face a quota system that limits the Maine elver fishery to 9,688 pounds per year. They caught 5,242 pounds of elvers last year. The fishery was worth $11.4 million, down from more than $40 million in 2012.

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