PORTLAND (AP) — Maine fishermen could soon learn how many pounds of baby eels they’ll be able to catch next year for the worldwide sushi market.

An arm of the interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is likely to vote Tuesday about the 2018 quota for baby eels, or elvers. Fishermen in Maine catch the elvers to sell to Asian aquaculture companies who raise them to maturity for use as food.

The elvers are usually worth more than $1,000 per pound, and Maine’s the only U.S. state with a significant fishery for them. Some eventually return to the U.S. for use in restaurants.

Fishermen have been allowed to catch a combined total of about 9,700 pounds of the elvers in recent years. A working group’s calling for that quota to hold next year.

filed under: