We thought that we had smoked our last batch of eels last week, but on Tuesday morning we received 250 kgs of superb Silver Eels from Louch Gowna and Louch Outra. The size ranged from 400gms up to a Kg.
Reports are circulating that this will be the last year that Silver Eels will be commercially caught. Facts and figures are scarce, but the stocks are apparently some 80% less than they were 10 years ago. If this is the case, then fishing has to be stopped to give the stock a chance to recover. As with the wild salmon stocks, it is never quite so simple and many factors have contributed to the decline in eel stocks in Ireland and Europe. One report out today blames the amount of pollution such as petro carbons, oil & petrol leaks, in waterways is causing the breakdown of the slime on the eels’ body. Others blame the harvesting of the elvers as they swim back from the Sargasso Sea to feast in our lakes and rivers. The price that can be fetched for a bucket of elvers is astronomical!
But despite all this doom and gloom, our eel fisherman tells me that stocks this autumn are excellent, and the number of very small eels is better than for many a year. So hopefully, not all is D & G!
The eels we smoked today look amazing and it looks as though we will have smoked eel available for a little longer.
Check out our ordering pages at ummera.com for Smoked Eel.