Weather gives fishermen hope for ultra-pricey baby eel catch

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Fishermen in a lucrative fishery that the sushi industry depends on say the coming season is likely to be much better than last year's.

Baby eels can fetch more than $2,000 per pound at the dock, higher than any other fishery in Maine. The eels are sold to aquaculture companies that raise them to maturity and use them as food products such as sushi and kabayaki.

Maine's elver fishermen are coming off a difficult year. They caught less than 5,300 pounds of the baby eels in 2015, far below the quota of nearly 10,000. Many fishermen blamed the slow year on a cold spring.

Fishermen say prospects for this year are much better because of warmer weather and warmer waters. They hope to reach quota in 2016.