Eel season has started in Sweden

A reminder: this week the eel season has started in Sweden. And that is something to put into the spotlight. But what is so special about this species? Managing director of the fish auctions in Stockholm and Smögen, Henrik Johansson, explains.

“Eel grows slowly. When they’re ready for sale the fish is at least eight years old. The oldest one we’ve ever known was 155 and died in 2014, after living his whole life swimming in a Swedish water well to keep the water clean.”

And the size?
“The average length is 40-60 cm and the weight is 500 kilograms. Our biggest eel at the fish auction ever was 2,9 kilos. Not really a small one!”

What is the expected supply this year?
30 to 40 tons. Just like last year. Then he laughs: “We are hoping for a lot of buyers outside of Sweden, so Pefa buyers you are all invited!”

Deal, everybody will buy eel in Stockholm and Smögen. But what is so special about the species?
“A lot of people don’t count eel to the fish species. That’s because it looks like a snake and the fact that it can live outside the water for a whole day. Where they pair is still undiscovered. Probably somewhere in the Sargasso Sea.”

The catch period is divergent as well, right?
That is correct. According to the regulations fishermen can make in the 120 days catch season just one catch trip. So that’s really challenging.”

Last but not least: what is the best way to prepare the eel?
Henrik thinks: “After catching it should go directly into the freezer. And just before consumption it should be boiled or cooked. Delicious!”