Fortune Fish & Gourmet

Seafood & Gourmet Products

Finfish

Eel, American

The American Eel, Anguilla rostrata, can be found in many areas throughout the east coast of the United States. They are catadromous, meaning that they breed in saltwater and spend most of their lives in fresh water. Eel spawning grounds are found in the Sargasso Sea. As larvae, they ride the Gulf Stream and currents to the Atlantic coast. Along the way they develop into glass eels, a translucent stage. They mature in freshwater and return to the Sargasso Sea to spawn and die. American Eels live in coastal rivers from Greenland to the Gulf of Mexico. It has a snakelike body that is covered with a protective slime coating. Eel is best purchased when still alive, and with the help of their slime coat American Eels can survive for several days out of water if kept damp. Eel flesh has a firm texture, small flake, high fat content and somewhat sweet. The meat is grey when raw but turns white when cooked. Almost any fish recipe will work great for eel; baked, fried, smoked or grilled. American Eels are typically caught using baited traps, fyke nets and long lines. Harvest quotas and mechanisms restoring Eel passage around dams have alleviated pressure on Eel populations. Most of the world’s Eels are now farm raised.