Lifecycle of the American Eel

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a feature article on the culinary and commercial ecology of elvers.

The short-term profits for baby eels are sweet – elvers are Maine’s second most lucrative water-based resource after lobster – but the long-term potential of growing those eels out to the more valuable adults here in Maine? Much sweeter, [fisherman Don] Sprague believes. Eel might be low on the list of Mainers’ favorite foods, but that doesn’t mean more of a profit couldn’t be made from other cultures’ love for it, or from the American sushi market. Sprague spells out the equation. “That $2,000 the fisherman got?” he said. “Now you multiply it times six.”