“Slime Eels” new fishery on the Peninsula

Hagfish are eels (Myxine glutinosa) They are not the same as the river eels, which are Lampreys, that used to be caught and eaten by the Tribes here in times gone by.

(Family Petromyzontidae
Pacific lamprey, Entosphenus tridentatus
River lamprey, Lampetra ayresi
Western brook lamprey, Lampetra richardsoni)

While it appears to be a benign fishery, obviously understanding their place in the ecosystem and how many of the eels can be taken without affecting what is eating them and what they eat, is good to know.

A new, relatively untapped fishery is growing on the North Olympic Peninsula, with at least two fish distributors planning to expand hagfish operations to supply Asian markets. Hagfish, also known as “slime eels,” are not eaten in the U.S. but are a popular food in South Korea, Brandt Koo, general manager of Five Ocean Seafoods Inc., told Port of Port Angeles commissioners last week. Arwyn Rice reports. You may go ewww, but slimy hagfish might be Peninsula’s next fishery boon


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