Atlantic Wolffish


Scientific Name: Anarhichas lupus

Description: Elongated laterally compressed body. Has a heavy blunt head, terminal mouth with conical teeth. Lateral line is absent. Colour variable from a blue to olive green to purplish brown. There are also 10 dark vertical bars along the body.

Distribution: Occurs on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean . The wolfish is a hard bottom dweller, occurring at depths of 101-350m.

Diet: Preys upon a variety of bottom invertebrates, echinoderms, molluscs, crustaceans and small amounts of fish.

Growth: Little is known about the growth of the wolffish except that it is rapid during its first summer. They can grow up to 5-6 feet in length.

Reproduction: Spawning takes place in September and eggs are deposited in a mass that the male guards. Male Atlantic wolffsh, reduce feeding just before spawning and do not feed until the eggs have hatched.

Predation: Juvenile wolffish have been found in cod stomachs.

Relation to man: There is no directed fishery for wolffish, but they are taken as by-catch of the ground fishery. These fish also have antifreeze proteins, but little is known about their pattern or production.



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