Department of Marine Resources Temporarily Closes Elver Fishery Over Coronavirus Concerns
Due to public health concerns associated with COVID-19, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has announced the closure of Maine's elver fishery, which had been scheduled to start Sunday, March 22, 2020. The closure, done through emergency rulemaking, will be for a minimum of two weeks and will be reassessed at that time.
"The Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact Maine's fisheries in ways we could not have imagined," said Maine DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher. "Portions of the elver fishery make it impossible to follow social distancing recommendations, including maintaining 6 feet from other people to reduce the spread of this disease."
"I share the goal of the Governor to find a way to safely open this fishery," said Keliher. "While I have been criticized greatly for my decision I can tell you I would do it again tomorrow as the safety of our fishermen and their communities is our primary concern."
DMR recognizes the devastating news to individuals who rely on this fishery. During the period of the closure, DMR will work with the industry toward developing a plan to try to allow fishing to occur in a safe manner. DMR has learned that forward thinking members of this industry are working to develop solutions to present to the Commissioner next week.