This is a Pacific Hagfish or "Slime Eel" as they are affectionately known. They are, however, not truly an eel. These are dubbed an "experimental" fishery, and tricky to capture. The toughest part of fishing for Hagfish, though, is keeping them alive once they are on board the boat. If they are upset or threatened, they give off a putrid slime that effectively kills them no matter if they are kept in ice, or water, and the slime itself clogs intakes so that circulation pumps and plumbing similar to crab will not work, and often need replacing. Once they are delivered to shore, they are foreign market bound. Korea is the main importer of slime eels. These lively eels are newly offloaded to Da Yang Seafoods, in a mixture of sea water and ice while they await processing.
By Guest Blogger Liz McMaster, F/V Lady Laura