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Tribe, State at Odds Over Elver Licenses in Maine
04/02/2013 10:18 AM ET  

Officials say Maine's governor called the Passamaquoddy chief on Monday but was unable to persuade him to abide by state limits on the number of tribe-issued elver licenses.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The Maine Department of Marine Resources and Passamaquoddy's Pleasant Point tribe remain at odds over elver licenses despite the intervention of Gov. Paul LePage.

Officials say LePage called Chief Clayton Cleaves on Monday but was unable to persuade him to abide by state limits on the number of tribe-issued elver licenses.

Meanwhile, the Maine Marine Patrol has stepped up enforcement.

Elvers are baby eels that swim upriver each spring in Maine, and they represent a lucrative fishery. The value last year was $38 million, with fishermen averaging $2,000 a pound.

The tribe contends its fishermen account for only a fraction of overall catch and that the state doesn't have jurisdiction. The tribe has issued more than 500 licenses despite being allowed only 200 under state law.



 

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