Eel is considered a delicacy, especially when it has been smoked. Māori harvests of eel are important for hui (gatherings) and tangi (funerals). Eels are also commercially harvested, generating between $800,000 and $3.5 million in exports annually between 1990 and 2004. Locally, smoked eel is available in delicatessens and restaurants. In the 2000s eels have come under the Quota Management System which restricts the weight of the annual catch.
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