May 24th, 2024

Three people arrested in Nova Scotia after search of suspected elver holding facility

By The Canadian Press on May 3, 2024.

The federal Fisheries Department says it arrested three people after carrying out a search warrant at a suspected holding facility for baby eels in southwestern Nova Scotia. Baby eels, also known as elvers, swim in a tank after being caught in the Penobscot River, in Brewer, Maine, Saturday, May 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Robert F. Bukaty

HALIFAX – The federal Fisheries Department says it arrested three people after executing a search warrant at a suspected holding facility for baby eels in southwestern Nova Scotia.

The department says fishery officers made the arrests in Yarmouth County on Wednesday in relation to offences committed under the Fisheries Act and its regulations.

Officers seized 28 kilograms of the tiny eels — also known as elvers — four dip nets, one trap-like fyke net and four large holding tanks and other fishing equipment.

The department released no other details about the arrests and says it won’t comment further because the investigation is continuing.

Last month, fisheries officials announced that five people from Maine had been arrested, also in the southwestern part of the province, for illegally fishing elvers.

Federal Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier closed the 2024 fishery on March 11, saying past confrontations on the water indicated an “immediate threat” to public safety and management of the fishery.

The young translucent fish are usually sold live to aquaculture operations in China and Japan where they are grown for food. In 2022 prices reached as high as $5,000 per kilogram.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2024.

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