PORTLAND — An eel fishermen’s organization is applauding the Maine Marine Patrol for the arrest of an out-of-state man who was cited for illegal possession of 41 pounds of baby eels.

Fishery officials this week announced that they had seized $61,000 worth of elvers from a New Hampshire man who was planning to sell them to an eel dealer in Newport. Officials said the man is believed to have harvested them illegally in another state before bringing them to Maine.

The Maine Elver Fisherman’s Association says eel poachers are “just thieves, plain and simple.”

The association says it supports measures to increase the penalties for illegal eel fishing.

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