American Unagi founder to talk at DMC about eel aquaculture

Elvers are a valuable fishery in Maine, but a lot of the catch is shipped to Asia, grown to maturity, then sold back to U.S. markets.

But Sara Rademaker, founder of American Unagi, keeps some profit here in Maine. Using business incubator facilities at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, she grows locally sourced wild elvers to market size for the restaurant industry.

In her talk, “Growing eels in Maine,” Rademaker will share her experience about building her business from basement startup to future commercialization. The seminar begins at 10:30 a.m. July 27 in Brooke Hall at the DMC in Walpole.

Rademaker earned a degree in fisheries and aquaculture at Auburn University and participated in Auburn’s USAID program in Uganda developing commercial aquaculture. She came to Maine as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Herring Gut Learning Center in St. George. Through American Unagi, Rademaker has deepened her Maine roots by connecting the local elver fishery to the growing aquaculture industry.

Rademaker’s talk is part of the DMC’s science seminar series. The free, public Friday seminars provide opportunities to discuss current marine research. Visit to preregister and for the list of other featured speakers and topics. For more information, or to request a reasonable accommodation, call 207.563.3146.