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Maine Tribe Meets with Lawmakers over Eel Fishery
04/03/2013 03:43 PM ET  

State law allows the Passamaquoddy tribe to issue 200 licenses to catch the valuable eels, known as elvers, but tribal leaders issued more than 500 licenses.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Passamaquoddy tribal leaders and Maine officials are discussing their differences in a dispute over how many tribal members can fish for lucrative glass eels.

State law allows the tribe to issue 200 licenses to catch the eels, known as elvers, which sell for up to $2,000 a pound. But tribal leaders issued more than 500 licenses, claiming the state doesn't have authority over the tribe on fishing matters.

Marine Resources Commission Patrick Keliher says the tribe is putting the entire fishery at risk by ignoring state law.

Four tribal members met Wednesday with Keliher and two lawmakers who head the Marine Resources Committee.

Ericka Dodge of the Senate Majority Office says the meeting didn't resolve the dispute, but was a step forward with both sides agreeing to meet again.



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