NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A local fish seller has pleaded guilty in an attempt to ship undersized American eels to Asia – where they are a delicacy.
As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, Milton Sum of Brooklyn was accused of trying to ship more than 81 pounds of tiny live glass eels overseas.
“Glass eels — they are the fry, or the babies, of the American eel,” explained Major Scott Florence of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Florence said the glass eels are illegal to take, but easy to catch.
“They’re worth a fortune. I mean, they’re worth, you know, $12-1,300 a pound, if you can ship them over to Asia, where you can grow them out into regular eels,” he said.
Sum allegedly claimed the glass eels were legally purchased from a dealer, but the DEC allegedly discovered that was not true.
“You know, they looked at the paperwork and said, this is forged paperwork, this is not from us,” Florence said. “At that point, we arrested Milton Sum, and seized his eels.”
Sum must now pay a $10,000 fine, Florence said.