National Geographic on 27th June carried a feature on smuggling of glass eels.  With prices for baby eels soaring to a high of nearly $3,000 a pound, illegal traders continue.  It is said that dealers were laundering eels — buying them illegally, then mixing them with legal ones and actively smuggling them using false labels.  The article reports on a recent multi-state wildlife trafficking investigation named in the US called Operation Broken Glass.  It says that the problem for American eels was sparked by a sushi crisis that began in 2010.  Wild baby eels, also known as glass eels or elvers, were becoming scarce — putting supplies of unagi, eel grilled with soy sauce and served at sushi joints around the world, in danger.  Asia’s eels had already been largely depleted and then the EU announced a ban on exports on exports of European eel species.  As a result, in the US eel prices in Maine went from $185 per pound in 2010 to nearly $1,900 per pound in 2012.  The article provides details of developments and cases in the US since 2012.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: