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Officials seize around $500K worth of elvers from Toronto Pearson Airport

Toronto

Federal officials say 109 kilograms of elvers were seized at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Wednesday.

Seizure carried out by Department of Fisheries and Oceans, CBSA

Tiny eels swim in a tank.
Baby eels, also known as elvers, swim in a tank after being caught in the Penobscot River on May 15, 2021, in Brewer, Maine. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)

Federal officials say 109 kilograms of elvers were seized at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Wednesday.

The seizure was carried out by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in conjunction with members of the Canada Border Services Agency.

The elvers were slated to be shipped overseas.

It’s estimated the value of the elvers seized is between $400,000 and $500,000.

WATCH | Maine may have the blueprint for a successful elver fishery in Canada 

Baby eels, big money: How to get the elver fishery under control

11 days ago

Duration 4:22

The Canadian elver fishery is so out of control that the government shut it down over concerns of overfishing, organized crime and even death threats. CBC’s Kayla Hounsell goes to Maine to find out how it cleaned up its fishery and why it wants Canada to do the same.

The seizure comes two months after the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced it would not be reopening the elver fishery due to safety and conservation concerns.

Federal data shows 149 people have been arrested for elver-related crimes, and nearly 208 kilograms of elvers have been seized so far this year.

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