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DMR Home > 2014 Elver FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions - 2014 Elver Season

Posted 3/25/14


  • 2013 landing totaled 18,076 pounds.
  • To avoid drastic cuts being considered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), Commissioner Keliher crafted a management change for the 2014 season in which Maine’s total quota will be 11,749, which is a 35 percent reduction from the 2013 season.
  • Five percent of the total quota will be withheld from the state’s allocation to ensure that the state does not exceed the overall quota.

Tribal Allocations

  • Maine’s four federally recognized Indian tribes will receive a percentage of the state’s total quota that totals 2,581 pounds.
  • Subtracting the 5 percent buffer, the tribal allocation for the 2014 season equals 2,453 pounds.
  • The Passamaquoddy Tribe will be allocated 1655 pounds. Subtracting 5 percent for the buffer, the Passamaquoddy total quota will be 1572 pounds to be divided among the license holders identified by the Tribe. The Passamaquoddy Tribe is authorized to issue an unlimited number of licenses to tribal members.
  • The Penobscot Nation will be allocated 750 pounds. Subtracting the 5 percent buffer, the Penobscot Nation’s 48 licensed elver harvesters will divide 713 pounds.
  • The Houlton Band of Maliseets will be allocated 130 pounds. Subtracting the 5 percent buffer, the Houlton Band of Maliseets’ 16 licensed harvesters will divide 124 pounds.
  • The Aroostook Band of Micmacs will be allocated 46 pounds. Subtracting the 5 percent buffer the Aroostook Band of Micmacs’ 8 licensed harvesters will divide 44 pounds.
  • Each Tribe, Nation or Band must allocate to each tribal license holder a specific amount of quota and provide documentation to the DMR of those individual allocations.

Non-Tribal Allocations

  • Non-tribal license holders will be allocated the remaining 9,168 pounds. Subtracting the 5 percent buffer, non-tribal license holders will be allocated 8,710 pounds.
  • Non-tribal individual fishing quota allocations will be determined from the harvester’s reported landings for 2011, 2012, and 2013 received on or before December 11, 2014.
  • The lowest year of landings will be eliminated and an average of the remaining two years will be determined. A percentage will be deducted from each license holder’s landings to reduce the total allocation for non-tribal license holder to 8,710 pounds.
  • The minimum amount of individual quota will be 4 pounds.

Swipe cards

  • The purpose of the swipe card system is to obtain more accurate and timely information on the amount of elvers landed in Maine, which will help the state ensure that it does not exceed its overall quota.
  • With the swipe card system, unlicensed harvesters and dealers cannot easily conduct transactions to sell or purchase illegal elvers because swipe cards are necessary for the sale of elvers and are distributed only to licensed harvesters.
  • In addition, the system will provide better reconciliation between harvester and dealer landings reports, which is important for an accurate accounting of the amount harvested.
  • Similar to a credit card, swipe cards will include a magnetic strip on the back encoded by DMR staff with the landings number for each harvester, which is an identifier for the purpose of reporting.
  • Licensed elver harvesters will be required to present a swipe card and photo ID to dealers in order to conduct sales transactions.
  • Information on the magnetic strip along with information from each transaction will be uploaded from the dealer computer in real time, however if no internet connection is available during the transaction, dealers are required to upload daily transaction information no later than 2PM.
  • Dealers will be required to provide their own computers for reporting, but the reporting software and the swipe card readers/receipt printers will be provided by DMR.
  • The data will be uploaded to a secure server administered by the Atlantic Coast Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP), a cooperative state-federal program that designs, implements, and conducts marine fisheries statistics data collection programs and integrates those data into a single data management system that will meet the needs of fishery managers, scientists, and fishermen.
  • DMR has a data sharing agreement with ACCSP partners that allows access to DMR fisheries data, including elver landings data, for fisheries management purposes.
  • Transaction cards will be distributed at designated locations in Maine prior to the start of the season.
  • Along with the swipe cards, each harvester will be provided information about recent legislation impacting the fishery, and his/her individual quota.
  • Each harvester will be required to produce a valid photo ID to receive his/her transaction card and will be required to sign a document signifying that he/she has been notified of his/her individual quota.
  • DMR will monitor individual landings through the swipe card system and deactivate cards, tribal and non-tribal, when each individual reaches his/her individual quota. However, it is important to note that harvesters must monitor their own landings and stop harvesting when they know, through their own records, that they have reached their quota because there could be a delay in deactivating the cards. For examples, if a harvester knows at 7pm that he/she has reached his/her quota, he/she should stop harvesting. Their card will be deactivated but it might be the following day before that happens


  • Licensed elver dealers will be required to report transactions on a daily basis during the elver harvesting season, accomplished through daily data uploads from the swipe card system. Dealers will be required to upload data no later than 2 P.M. every open day of the season.
  • Elver dealers will also be required to maintain paper records for all elver transactions, including dealer-to-dealer transactions, for three years.
  • Harvesters will be required to report their landings monthly on a Department-supplied log book.