Monkfish


Monkfish - Lophius americanus

*Information from FAO Species Identification Guide Western Central Atlantic*

Monkfish
Size
Maximum to 120 cm, commonly to 90 cm.
Habitat, biology, and fisheries

Bottom-dwelling on both hard and soft substrates (hard sand, gravel, pebble, or shell bottoms to soft mud) from inshore waters (including high-salinity bays and estuaries when temperature is suitable) to continental slope at depths to at least 840 m; temperature range 0 to 24 degrees C (in Area 31, greatest winter concentrations at depths of 180 to 225 m (3 to 6 degrees C), greatest summer concentrations at 25 to 220 m, with the greatest abundance at 25 to 92 m (5 to 9 degrees C). Feeds mainly upon fishes, but known to take a variety of marine birds; attracts fishes by rapidly moving angling apparatus (illicium and esca); capable of swallowing very large prey; spawning from spring to early autumn; eggs contained within long (up to 12 m long by 1.5 m wide), ribbon-like, gelatinous mass called egg veil; a single female may produce over 1.3 million eggs. A good food fish, marketed fresh or frozen; present fishing grounds along the Atlantic coast of the USA, with main fishing grounds to the north of Area 31; caught mainly with trawls; separate statistics are not reported for this species from Area 31.

Distribution
Coast of eastern North America from the southern and eastern parts of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, and the northern side of the Gulf of St. Lawrence southward to the coast of Florida (approximately 29 degrees N).