Friday, June 25, 2010

Not for the squeamish

While running errands in Newport, we noticed something being offloaded from a fishing boat, so we went to check it out. Hmmmm ... lots of slime oozing out from the net, must be slime eels! We moved in for a closer look.

A crane lowers the net into the hold of the fishing boat and brings up anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds of eels each time. White crates filled with seawater are lined up, ready to accept the catch.

One guy helps read the scale, then guides the bag o' eels over to the appropriate container. And then ... and then ... he SCOOPS the slime out of the container, puts it in a slime bucket, to be returned to the sea. Ick. Ick. Ick.

As yucky as this may seem, it was really interesting to watch. One guy asked if we wanted to take an eel home. "They make great pets!"

Each container of eels was loaded into a truck to be driven up to SeaTac airport in Washington and from there they fly to Korea, where they're quite a delicacy. "Slime eels" isn't the most beautiful of names. But then neither is their "real" name: hagfish! These aren't eels at all, scientifically speaking, but they sure looked eely to me.

I must say the globs of slime got to me. They didn't smell bad, but just the thought ... ©Carol Leigh