Sarah Rice

Eel Trafficking
Location: Portland, Maine
Nationality: USA
Biography:     Sarah Rice is a documentary photographer interested in exploring the elements that bind human beings to one another. Some of her work focuses on communities of individuals content to live apart from mainstream society; the choices... read on
Public Story
Eel Trafficking
Credits: sarah rice
Date of Work: 05/01/17 - 05/03/17
Updated: 08/17/17
Inside the multi-million dollar world of eel trafficking in Maine, for National Geographic: 
Glass eels are a big - and now highly regulated - business in Maine, one of only three states where they're legal to fish.  The elver eels are called glass eels at this stage of their development because of their transparency (as they grow older they also turn opaque).  The eels are caught and sent to Asia to be raised there, then processed and sent off to be consumed as unagi.  In May of this year glass eels were going for between $1,200 and $1,350 a pound, and there's roughly 2,000 glass eels to a pound.  At the start of the eel fishing season this year two men in Maine were indicted for illegally trafficking wildlife as part the U.S. Government's "Operation Broken Glass".  Agents have nabbed more than a dozen men for illegally smuggling baby eels to Asia.  

Also by Sarah Rice —


Big Sur, 'The Island', cut off from traffic by landslides

By Sarah Rice / Big Sur, California — Heavy rains this winter caused massive landslides in Big Sur, California, a picturesque tourist destination..

Smart Guns for the Center for Investigative Reporting

By Sarah Rice / Santa Cruz, California

Sex Trafficking in the Weed Industry, for the Center for Investigative Reporting/Reveal

By Sarah Rice / Garberville, California — Sex trafficking and abuse in the secretive marijuana industry.

Backstory of a tragedy

By Sarah Rice — A young couple moved from Houlton, Maine, to New York city with hopes of starting fresh.  They wound up..

When a Whale Dies

By Sarah Rice / Stinson Beach and Pacifica California — It is a fact of nature that everything dies.  When a whale dies, in most cases, there is no one around..

What We Need Is Here

By Sarah Rice — This work is called What We Need Is Here.   The title comes from a Wendell Berry poem, who I read a..

Mama Hope

By Sarah Rice / Chiga, Kenya — The 10,000 inhabitants of Chiga Village in Kenya were getting their water from a polluted river when I..
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