Decision on listing eels as endangered expected soon
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A decision from the federal government about whether to list American eels under the Endangered Species Act will likely come next week.
A spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the decision is due by the end of September and will probably arrive close to the end of the month. The California-based Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy & Reliability wants the federal government to list the eels as threatened.
The eels are a commercially harvested species in several states and can be very lucrative. Maine baby eels were worth more than $2,100 per pound in 2015. States including Maryland and Delaware also have fisheries for older eels.
The petitioners say the eels have lost more than 80 percent of their habitat and suffer from commercial fishing pressure.