How Elver Eels Became America’s Hottest Black-Market Item

In the dark of the night, a group of fishermen huddles around a net. They’re gathered at a riverbank in Ellsworth, Maine, collecting one of the most lucrative seafood in the world: elvers, or baby glass eels. A 5-gallon bucket brimming with these translucent creatures is worth $32,500—higher than prices for gold. “It’s like Christmas!” exclaims Rick Sibley, one of the fishermen. “I can’t wait to see what’s in that net.” This would all come crashing down in 2014. Beginning in 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Office of Law Enforcement—along with a long list of local, state, and federal agencies launched Operation Broken Glass, 15 minute video, >click to read< 12:12

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