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Business and Economy

Maine's elver market rebounds to pre-pandemic levels

APTOPIX Maine Daily Life
Robert F. Bukaty
AP file
Baby eels, also known as elvers, swim in a tank after being caught in the Penobscot River, Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Brewer, Maine.

The price of elvers is back up to pre-pandemic levels, according to Maine's Department of Marine Resources.

Maine fisherman are selling baby eels for more than $2,100 a pound. Prices fell to $525 a pound back in 2020, when the pandemic upended the elver market.

Elver season doesn't end until early June, but so far Maine fisherman have already sold about 80% of their catch, to the tune of nearly $17 million.

Darrell Young, a director for the Maine Elver Fisherman Association, says he has already met his own quota.

"It was phenomenal. We have three of us fishing. We have four nets. I think it all equaled up to be 80 pounds or so, and we did it in eight days," he says.

Young says the catch is especially strong this year and the ice melted relatively early, helping fisherman meet their quotas just a week or two into the season, which started March 22.