PORTLAND — The Maine Department of Marine Resources is moving forward with plans to slash the harvest of lucrative glass eels.

At the first public hearing held this week in Augusta, the industry offered support for quotas based on the historical catch. Another hearing will be held Jan. 2 in Brewer before rules are drafted to cut the fishery by 25 to 40 percent when the season opens in March.

The state agreed to impose limits rather than face deeper cuts imposed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

People who fish for the baby eels — known as elvers — aren’t happy.

Jeffrey Pierce of the Maine Elver Fishermen’s Association said scientists who prefer to err on the side of caution will continue to collect a paycheck while fishermen suffer.

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