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The Dangerous and Lucrative World of Eel Fishing

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The Dangerous and Lucrative World of Eel Fishing

Peter Andrey Smith at Buzz Feed has posted a great piece of long form journalism following the story of Bill Sheldon, a fisherman in Maine who is seen as the kingpin of the baby-eel industry.

It's a great narrative piece in which Smith spends his time with Sheldon between a rough motel and the waters of Maine. Delving into a dangerous industry where guns, big bucks and baby eels go hand in hand.

This is a largely unreported and unregulated industry in which fishermen can earn as much as $100,000 a night with a pound of baby eels fetching around $10.

Smith follows the fishermen, the buyers, the sellers and eventually the Asian business men who export the catches, mainly to Japan where it's estimated that 70% of the world's eel catch is consumed.  

Take a look for yourself - it's an interesting look at a rapidly growing food industry many of us never consider. This is 'The Eel World'.

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Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

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