UMaine Researchers Aiding Efforts to Develop American Eel Aquaculture
University of Maine Marine Extension associates are involved in emerging efforts to develop aquaculture for American eel. Last October, scientists, eel biologists, eel merchants, entrepreneurs and government regulators attended a workshop on the eel industry sponsored by the USDA Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center and organized by Barry Costa-Pierce (University of New England), Michael Timmons (Cornell University), Dana Morse (Maine Sea Grant) and David MacNeill (New York Sea Grant). Despite complications resulting from the potential listing of American eel as an endangered species, workshop participants concluded that the development of a local industry would benefit both wild fishermen and aquaculture entrepreneurs. Discussions will continue at the Northeast Aquaculture Conference and Exposition (Jan. 14–16 in Portland, Maine) and the Maine Fishermen’s Forum (March 5–7 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine).