The Last Eel Catcher

January 23, 2016


In Norfolk a 3,000 year old tradition comes to an end as Peter Carter, the last eel catcher in Britain, hangs up his nets, unable to find a successor or make a living.

“It breaks my heart but I can’t live on empty pockets.”

“So the last wicker eel hive and grigg have been lifted from the river, I will not be making any more. I’ve found employment elsewhere but still working around the waters.”

Peter said he was still trying to come to terms with the momentous decision he had taken as he’d always identified spiritually with thousands of other eel fishermen down the ages.

“I feel I have let all the eel men of the past down – 3,000 years of Fen life has finally gone,” he said. “Let the eels swim free as I lift my punting pole for the last time.”



Elijah Wells, Peter’s great uncle, with his wife and traditional eel traps.



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