BREWER, Maine — The Maine Department of Marine Resources will meet with members of the public Monday to gauge their feelings on a series of changes aimed at protecting the American eel population in U.S. waters.
In May, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission board approved Draft Addendum IV to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for the American eel, which proposes a range of “management options” aimed at reducing mortality rates and increasing conservation of American eel stocks.
The changes were proposed in response to a 2012 benchmark stock assessment that found the American eel population in U.S. waters was depleted, according to the ASMFC. The commission has set up a series of meetings in order to collect public comment on the proposed changes.
Among the proposed regulations on the lucrative elver fishery along the U.S. East Coast are new glass and yellow eel quotas, a catch cap for the yellow eel fishery, and a moratorium of the glass eel fishery.
The ASMFC held a series of meetings on the subject, including one in Hallowell earlier Monday. The Brewer meeting is set for 3-5 p.m. at Jeff’s Catering.
The American Eel Sustainability Association will host its own meeting on the eel fisheries in advance of the ASMFC meeting at the same location, Jeff’s Catering.
The deadline for public written comment is 11:59 p.m. on July 17. Comments may be mailed to Kate Taylor, senior fishery management plan coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia, 22201. Comments also may be submitted via fax to 703-842-0741 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line American Eel). Final action on the addendum is expected in August.
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