Delaware facing possible moratorium on eel fishing

DOVER — Federal regulators are eyeing a possible moratorium on eel fishing in Delaware waters.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is reviewing a referral from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that found Delaware out of compliance with the interstate management plan for American eel, whose numbers are depleted.

If the national agency determines that Delaware failed to carry out its responsibilities, and that the measures the state failed to implement are necessary for conservation, then it must declare a moratorium on eel fishing in Delaware waters. A determination must be made by Sept. 18.

The regional commission determined, among other things, that the state has failed to implement regulations regarding minimum size for yellow eel recreational and commercial fisheries, minimum mesh size for yellow eel pots, and daily bag limits.

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