Rape

Rape

Monkfish is often referred to as "poor man’s lobster" because of its sweet and meaty taste. The white meat in monkfish has a firm texture comparable with meat and chicken. Because of this, it can endure higher temperatures than most species, but is still lean.

Area

Barents Sea to the northern parts of western Africa, in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in east to Iceland in west

Maximum size

Up to 2 metres and 80 kilos

Some alternative names

Latin: Lophius piscatorius

English: Monkfish or Anglerfish

French: Baudroie commune

German: Seeteufel

The monkfish is a typical demersal fish, i.e. fish that live near the bottom of seas and lakes. It is found in the littoral zone close to the shore and down to depths of 600 metres along the coast of Norway and southward to Africa.  Monkfish are found in most European waters. The ICES recognizes two main European stocks of monkfish. The first “southern stock” is found in Portuguese, Spanish, French and southern Irish waters.  The second “northern stock” is located between the west of Scotland, the North Sea and Skagerrak. The monkfish found in Norwegian waters are probably connected to the northern stock, but at the present time are classified as a separate stock. The monkfish is a predator with few natural enemies. It hides amongst seaweed or partially buries itself in the sand. It lures its prey by using the first dorsal fin ray as a fishing pole. This fin ray has a filament of skin on the tip, which is used as bait. The monkfish spawns in spring, mainly west of the British Isles, as well as in some Norwegian fjords and deeper parts of the continental shelf. Spawning can occur at depths of between 1000 and 1800 metres, and monkfish eggs are laid may migrate down to depths of 2500 metres. It lays its eggs in thin sheets of transparent gelatinous material that drift in the ocean until they hatch. The larvae swim freely. A healthy monkfish can live more than 25 years.

Wild catch

Monkfish is caught all year around. Earlier, monkfish was mainly bycatch, but nowadays it is targeted directly, mostly with gill nets off the coast of Western Norway.

Diet

Fish, crustaceans and cephalopods

Fishery

Monkfish is caught all year around. Earlier, monkfish was mainly bycatch, but nowadays it is targeted directly, mostly with gill nets off the coast of Western Norway.

Nutrition

Seafood contains almost all the nutrients the body needs. Monkfish is especially rich in:

  • Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body.
  • Vitamin A, that helps build the immune system and is important for eyesight, the ability to reproduce and the development of the foetus.
  • Vitamin B12, which is important for the body to produce new cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can contribute to preventing anaemia.
  • Selenium, an important element in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body.

More nutritional data can be found at www.nifes.no/en/prosjekt/seafood-data