ELLSWORTH — The Maine Marine Patrol has scored a major bust in its fight against illegal trafficking in elvers.
Last Wednesday, April 3, Marine Patrol Sgt. Rene Cloutier and Officer John Luellen summoned Phillip Parker, 41 of Candia, N.H., in the largest case of illegal possession of elvers in the history of the fishery. Parker was apprehended in Newport after an investigation revealed that he intended to sell 41 pounds of elvers without a Maine elver-harvesting license.
Maine law prohibits the possession of elvers without a valid license. Currently Maine and South Carolina are the only two states with a legal elver fishery.
Although the fine for illegal possession of elvers in Maine is currently $2,000, the offense is only a civil violation, Marine Patrol Maj. Alan Talbot said Monday morning. That isn’t much of a deterrent, Talbot said, given the current $2,000-per-pound value of elvers in Maine.