Maine's Marine Patrol has cited a New Hampshire man for having tens of thousands of dollars' worth of baby eels without a license in what's being called the biggest case of illegal eel possession in the history of the fishery.
Officials said Monday that 41-year-old Phillip Parker, of Candia, N.H., was summonsed last Wednesday in Newport with 41 pounds of eels, known as elvers. Fishermen have been getting about $2,000 per pound for their catch this season.
Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher says Parker faces up to a $2,000 fine if guilty. He says a bill now before the Legislature would make illegal possession of elvers a criminal offense, rather than a civil violation, to provide an added deterrent.
A phone number under Parker's name could not immediately be found.