American eels are one of 15 related, snakelike fish species that include the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) and eels in tropical or subtropical rivers entering the Pacific or Indian oceans. Eels are catadromous, meaning that they spawn in the ocean but mature in fresh water. Most eels are caught at their freshwater stage. American and European eels both spawn in the Sargasso Sea but return to their respective home waters as separate stocks. American eels are found in coastal rivers from Greenland to the Gulf of Mexico and are plentiful in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The American eel fishery has two components. One is for 2-inch-long baby eels (called “glass eels” or “elvers”), netted from estuaries and brackish bays to supply Asian and European aquafarms. The second targets adult eels as they travel downstream to spawn, where they are harvested with weirs, pots and dip nets.