We have been catching and eating them for centuries; jellied, smoked or stewed and yet there is still much we don't know about the life of an eel as Brett Westwood discovers when he joins a traditional eel fisherman on the banks of a river in Dorset and learns about bobs and worms. Eel skins were once worn as wedding rings and their heads used as finger puppets in Ely, otherwise known as the Isle of Eels which today holds an annual festival to celebrate all things 'eel' from a giant eel paraded through the streets to the World Eel throwing competition! Producer Sarah Blunt.

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28 minutes

Last on

Mon 28 Aug 2017 21:00

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Tracey Gardner

Tracey Gardner
Tracey is one of the organisers of the Ely Festival and the World Eel Throwing Competition. She works with the Visit Ely team.

Nora Gardner

Nora Gardener first encountered Eels in her birthplace of Holland. She now lives in the UK and is a Blue Badge guide and walking encyclopedia when it comes to the history of eels and Ely.

Don Goodwin

Don Goodwin
Don Goodwin is a licensed eel fisherman, he fishes using a traditional method called eel bobbing in which the eels are lured with a ‘clod’ of earthworms on a line and rod.

Graham Manze

Graham Manze
Graham Manze is the son of Michele Manze who first opened the Manze Pie and Mash shop in 1902 in London. Ever since he was a child, when he used to visit the kitchens to watch what was happening, Graham has been involved with the business.

David Righton

David Righton
David Righton is a behavioural ecologist at The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and has been following fish since his university days, when he became interested in the territorial behaviour of fish on coral reefs in the Red Sea.

During his career, he has led a number of large field-based projects; two focused on uncovering the mysteries of migration in cod and European eel. David is a former associate editor of the Journal of Marine Biology and is currently a trustee of the Buckland Foundation.

Matthew Routledge

Matthew Routledge
Matthew Routledge was the Eel Knight and compere at the 2017 Ely Eel Festival. He works with the Visit Ely team.

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