PORTLAND, Maine — An interstate board is recommending that Maine’s fishing quota in the lucrative baby eel fishery stay the same for the coming year.

Maine fishermen scoop baby eels out of rivers and streams so they can be sold to Asian aquaculture companies and raised to maturity for use as food. The eels are often worth more than $1,000 per pound, and fishermen are allowed to catch a combined total of about 9,700 pounds of them per year.

An arm of the interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is likely to vote on the quota for 2018 on Tuesday. A coordinator with the commission says a working group is calling for the quota to stay the same.

The coordinator says a new study could also be ordered to help determine future quotas.

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