Endangered Species Act List Won't Add US Eels - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Endangered Species Act List Won't Add US Eels

The federal government has declined to list American eels under the Endangered Species Act. (Photo: AP) The federal government has declined to list American eels under the Endangered Species Act. (Photo: AP)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP)- American eels will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday, a victory for fishermen of the increasingly valuable species.
    
The wildlife service rejected a petition from the California-based Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy & Reliability to list the eels - which are prized in Asian cuisine - as threatened.
    
The petitioners argued that the eels have lost more than 80 percent of their habitat and the security of the stock is jeopardized by fishing pressure from commercial fishing. But the wildlife service told the Associated Press that a report to be issued Wednesday will say that "there have been large declines in abundance from historical times" but "the species currently appears to be stable."
    
Fishermen and fishing advocacy groups campaigned against additional protections for eels. Listing them under the Endangered Species Act would have severely limited the ability to harvest them as a commercial species, and they can be of high economic value because of their use in sushi.
    
Maine baby eels were worth more than $2,100 per pound in 2015, up from less than $100 per pound in 2009. The baby eels, called elvers, are sold to Asian aquaculture companies that raise them to maturity and use them as food.
    
The service acknowledges that habitat loss and fishing have cut back eel populations in localized areas, but the fish's challenges do not rise to the level of listing under the Endangered Species Act, said Krishna Gifford, a listings coordinator for the service. The eels' population is much lower than it was in the 1970s and '80s after a decline in the '90s and 2000s, but it appears to have stabilized since, the service said.
    
"We know these things are not threatening the overall species," Gifford said. "We know the eels remain widely distributed through their historical range despite habitat loss throughout their range."
    
Only Maine and South Carolina fishermen harvest elvers, and South Carolina's fishery is much smaller. Several other states have fisheries for older eels, including Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.
    
Their value rarely exceeded $3 million per year from 1950 to 2010, but it ballooned to more than $40 million in 2012, largely because of the growth of Maine's elver fishery. Value of Maine baby eels has waned somewhat in more recent years, in part due to a quota system and other controls, but it remains far above historical averages.
    
American eels have become more valuable in recent years largely because of a sharp decline in their population across Europe in the 1990s. The American eels range from Greenland to Venezuela and hatch their young in the Sargasso Sea.
    
The federal wildlife service also evaluated the eels for listing under the Endangered Species Act in 2007 and declined then, as well.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Carper Dismisses Domestic Incident Reference as "Mischief"

    Carper Dismisses Domestic Incident Reference as "Mischief"

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 10:13 PM EDT2018-10-18 02:13:25 GMT
    Wednesday, October 17 2018 11:58 PM EDT2018-10-18 03:58:39 GMT
    Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Carper is criticizing Republican attempts to dredge up a decades-old incident in which he slapped his ex-wife, leaving her with a black eye.More
    Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Carper is criticizing Republican attempts to dredge up a decades-old incident in which he slapped his ex-wife, leaving her with a black eye.More
  • Delaware Teacher Of The Year Plans To Do Even More

    Delaware Teacher Of The Year Plans To Do Even More

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 5:02 PM EDT2018-10-17 21:02:50 GMT
    Wednesday, October 17 2018 9:45 PM EDT2018-10-18 01:45:35 GMT
    On Tuesday, Dana Bowe of West Seaford Elementary was awarded Delaware's Teacher of The Year at Dover Downs Casino. But she says the award is not about her, it's about her students.More
    On Tuesday, Dana Bowe of West Seaford Elementary was awarded Delaware's Teacher of The Year at Dover Downs Casino. But she says the award is not about her, it's about her students. More
  • Ocean Pines Uses Dogs to Chase Away Geese

    Ocean Pines Uses Dogs to Chase Away Geese

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 9:30 PM EDT2018-10-18 01:30:35 GMT
    Wednesday, October 17 2018 9:30 PM EDT2018-10-18 01:30:35 GMT
    Animal experts are using dogs to chase away the geese in Ocean Pines. The company says by having the dogs disturb the geese, the birds will no longer feel safe in the area.More
    Animal experts are using dogs to chase away the geese in Ocean Pines. The company says by having the dogs disturb the geese, the birds will no longer feel safe in the area. More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Salisbury University Basketball Team Pleads to Save Coach

    Salisbury University Basketball Team Pleads to Save Coach

    Two weeks ago the Salisbury University men's basketball team was notified that Head Coach Andrew Sachs was placed on administrative leave. 

    The sudden decision by the university came as a shock to the team.  WBOC sat down with 11 of the 13-man roster, who all say they're taking the situation one day at a time. 

    More

    Two weeks ago the Salisbury University men's basketball team was notified that Head Coach Andrew Sachs was placed on administrative leave. 

    The sudden decision by the university came as a shock to the team.  WBOC sat down with 11 of the 13-man roster, who all say they're taking the situation one day at a time. 

    More
  • "Hood Fight Salisbury" Cell Phone Videos

    "Hood Fight Salisbury" Cell Phone Videos

    27 cell phone videos depicting brutal streets fights among teenagers in Salisbury were posted online. Local leaders including the Mayor, State's Attorney and a Reverend react to the media.More
    27 cell phone videos depicting brutal streets fights among teenagers in Salisbury were posted online. Local leaders including the Mayor, State's Attorney and a Reverend react to the media.More
  • Ocean Pines Uses Dogs to Chase Away Geese

    Ocean Pines Uses Dogs to Chase Away Geese

    Animal experts are using dogs to chase away the geese in Ocean Pines. The company says by having the dogs disturb the geese, the birds will no longer feel safe in the area. 

    More

    Animal experts are using dogs to chase away the geese in Ocean Pines. The company says by having the dogs disturb the geese, the birds will no longer feel safe in the area. 

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices