Monkfish Facts

Monkfish Facts
Monkfish, also known as sea-devil, is a type of anglerfish that belongs to the goosefish family. There are 7 species of monkfish that can be found in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Monkfish spends majority of its life on the sandy or muddy sea floor. It can be found on a depth of 3.000 feet. Monkfish is economically important type of fish. Its meat tastes like goose liver pate and it has fine, lobster-like texture. Greatest threat for the survival of monkfish is uncontrollable fishing. Luckily, population of monkfish is still large and stable (they are not on the list of endangered species).
Interesting Monkfish Facts:
Monkfish can reach 3 to 4.5 feet in length. Females are slightly larger than males.
Monkfish has smooth (without scales) dark brown or olive green skin on dorsal side of the body and whitish skin on the belly. It can change the color of the body to blend with the colors of the environment.
Monkfish has huge, broad head and gradually tapering tail. Its wide mouth is filled with large number of curved, backward oriented teeth. Eyes resemble the pearls, while pectoral fins look like wings.
Monkfish is also known as "allmouth" due to oversized mouth (compared to the rest of the body).
Monkfish is bottom-dweller. It spends most of its life on the ocean floor.
Monkfish is an ambush predator which silently sits and waits for the prey to appear. It uses modified spine on top of the head (shaped like filament) to lure the prey.
Monkfish is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on various species of fish: cods, sand eels, mackerels, herrings and sea bass. It swallows the prey in one piece. Thanks to large mouth, monkfish can swallow the prey of its own size.
Monkfish occasionally swims toward the surface of the water to hunt birds such as puffins, grebes, cormorants, gulls and loons.
Natural enemies of monkfish are swordfish, sharks and thorny skates.
Monkfish migrates each year toward the spawning areas. These fish are slow swimmers and they often walk on the ocean floor using their pectoral fins.
Mating season of monkfish takes place from February to October.
Males and females release their reproductive cells directly into the water. Females are able to produce 1 million eggs per season. Fertilized eggs float on the surface of water like a huge veil (all eggs are arranged in a single layer). 1 to 3 weeks later (depending on temperature), larvae emerge from the eggs.
Larvae swim freely. They eat miniature zooplankton until they reach length of 3 inches and become ready to descend to the ocean floor.
Monkfish reach sexual maturity at the age of 4 years, or when they reach 14 (males) to 16 (females) inches in length.
Monkfish can survive 7 (males) to 13 (females) years in the wild.

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