PORTLAND — Regulators have agreed to allow Maine’s lucrative glass eel fishery to remain open next year as long as Maine officials devise a plan that will cut the state’s 2014 catch by at least 25 percent.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s eel management board voted Wednesday in Georgia to postpone passing new eel-fishing regulations that would go into effect in 2014. In the meantime, Maine officials will work with eel industry members to create a plan that reduces next spring’s catch by 25 to 40 percent.

The decision is crucial for Maine fishermen who net baby eels known as elvers, which have fetched $2,000 a pound the past two seasons.

Maine Elver Fishermen Association Executive Director Jeffrey Pierce says he’s pleased the board was willing to keep the fishery open.


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