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Nova Scotia fisher says Toronto airport elver seizure welcome — and long overdue

A commercial elver fisher in Nova Scotia says he welcomes news of the significant seizure last week of baby eels at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

But Stanley King of Atlantic Elver Fishery says the seizure by federal officials is long overdue and comes as the current season for catching elvers is winding down.

The federal government closed the lucrative commercial baby eel fishery on March 11 after violence and intimidation plagued last year’s fishing season in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

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The seizure of 109 kilograms of eels, also known as elvers, was carried out last Wednesday by the Fisheries Department and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Federal officials said the eels were destined for shipment overseas and were worth between $400,000 and $500,000.

King says that while the bust is significant, it amounts to a small percentage of the elvers that have likely been illegally shipped out of the country this year.

He is part of a group of commercial fishers who have been calling for more enforcement and stiffer penalties for poaching elvers on coastal rivers in the Maritimes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2024.

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press


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