Penboscot Bay Press Compass Logo

Penobscot Bay Press
Community Information Services

News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, June 29, 2017 and Island Ad-Vantages, June 29, 2017 and The Weekly Packet, June 29, 2017
Film unlocks the secrets of eels

Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries will present the film The Mystery of Eels at the Stonington Opera House on Tuesday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and free of charge. The film is narrated by writer, artist, and conservationist James Prosek, who will be in attendance at the screening. Prosek is a highly decorated and internationally renowned artist, known for his artwork focused on fresh and salt water species.

The film unlocks the secrets of eels and the iconic role they’ve played in culture, economics, and ecosystems around the globe. From the cold rivers of Maine to the eel festivals of Japan and the faraway lands of New Zealand, Prosek’s journey teaches the history of this mysterious species and the threats it may face in the future.

The Mystery of Eels is based on Prosek’s book, Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish, published in 2010. The book was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and the subject of a documentary for the PBS series Nature.

MCCF executive director Robin Alden said in a press release that the film is “a glimpse into a mysterious creature that supports a $13.45 million Maine fishery, that means a lot to communities, and whose sustainability is a link between the freshwater and the ocean, from here all the way to the Sargasso Sea.” Alden will kick off the evening’s screening at 6:30 p.m. and lead a brief Q&A session, along with Prosek, at the film’s conclusion.

Following the screening, there will be a private panel discussion and dinner at the home of John Ollman. Proceeds benefit MCCF’s efforts to sustain fisheries and communities in Eastern Maine and beyond. Guests are invited to join James Prosek and eel experts Dr. James McCleave, Dr. Gayle Zydlewski and Dr. Joseph Zydlewski for an in-depth discussion, cocktails and refreshments. For information or tickets, contact Chelsea Kondratowicz at or call 367-2708.