American Unagi

Helping grow elvers and aquaculture right here in Maine

Multiple Awards | $428K

American Unagi


Her first batch of eels that she grew in her basement

1.5 million eels
Projected annual production in new facility

For years, local fishermen caught elvers in Maine, then sold them to China where they grew to full size eels and were then sold back to the US market. American Unagi is disrupting this production cycle and moving the whole supply chain back in state.

Working with licensed Maine glass eel harvesters, the company raises the eels to market size without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

Sara Rademaker had already invested more than 10 years in building a career in aquaculture before she decided to move to Maine. She was attracted to how the state and MTI especially shared a recognition that aquaculture could be an economic driver for the state.

MTI has partnered with American Unagi throughout their growth. Sara received her first grant for a feasibility study. After she confirmed that she could successfully grow American Eels, she sought help from MTI to better understand the market and eventually landed additional funds from the USDA. Most recently, the company is building a 27,000-square-foot facility in Waldoboro; Maine’s first land-based eel aquaculture facility.