In 2013-2014, Maine Sea Grant and NOAA Fisheries collaborated to document and showcase harvesters’ knowledge of alewives, blueback herring, and American eels in Downeast Maine. The project was funded through a NOAA Preserve America grant. Julia Beaty, a Maine Sea Grant scholar who recently graduated from the University of Maine with a master’s in marine science and a master’s in marine policy, researched the history of each species in eastern Maine and conducted dozens of interviews with harvesters and other stakeholders.
Randy Bushey, an elver buyer and fisherman, describes his role in the industry and the politics of elver fishing in Downeast Maine. The interview includes opinions on federal regulations, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and eel behavior and biology. Bushey discusses his attempts to import eels from Caribbean island nations.
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