HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut is inching closer to the lucrative eel industry.
Eel management policymakers at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which covers Maine to Florida, proposed Monday to ease rules allowing broader access to the multimillion-dollar global eel market.
That follows by just five days Connecticut legislation calling for state regulations establishing and regulating glass eel fishing by June 1, 2016.
Catch limits had been imposed because the American eel is at or near historically low levels due to overfishing, habitat loss, predators, contaminants and other threats.
In Maine, the eel catch has generated $32 million for each of the past two years.
David Simpson, director of marine fisheries in the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, says if Atlantic Coast states open fisheries, they should be distributed more fairly.