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Elvers The Average Price Per Pound $2,663 - Mar. 30, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) The price of baby eels in Maine is soaring to record highs at the beginning of a season in which buyers expect to pay more for the valuable fish.

Baby eels, called elvers, are an important part of the worldwide Japanese food trade. Maine fishermen harvest them from rivers and streams so they can be sold as seed stock to Asian aquaculture companies.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources says the average price per pound to fishermen was $2,663 as of Wednesday. The most elvers have ever sold for in a full season was $2,172 in 2015.

Maine's elver industry is poised for high prices because of poor harvest in Asia. The season opened March 22 and fishermen had about 96 percent of their 9,688 quota remaining on Wednesday night.