Internationalization Series: Fishers and eels in an age of extinction

The unraveling of socio-ecological relationships is a hallmark of our era of environmental change. This paper narrates the costs and consequences of this unraveling for lives and livelihoods enrolled in British trade of the European eel.

Seth Gustafson Headshot

December 02, 2022

7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Cost - Free

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Once a common fish in Europe, the European Eel is now critically endangered, having declined in population by roughly 95% since the 1960s. The last generation of eel catchers is witnessing this decline, but with few young eel catchers to mentor, their skills, knowledge, memories, and experience will become extinct, even if the eel itself may not. This talk narrates the changing lives of the longstanding English eel trade, examining eel fishers' reflections on the meaning of extinction, historical practices of eel fishing, and their own role in this environmental transformation.