Catfish

Anarhichas lupus

Size

When fully grown, the Striped Seawolf reaches a length of about 1.2 meters and a weight of 25 kilograms. The spotted catfish reaches a size of 1.4 meters and a similar body weight. The maximum age of these fish is estimated at 25 years.

Taste

Their light-colored, relatively firm flesh has a characteristic, delicate flavor, making catfish a highly prized food fish.

Sustainability

MSC

Natural habitat

The catfish belong to the family of wolffish or catfish, which includes a total of five species, two of which are valuable food fish: the striped wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) and the spotted wolffish (Anarhichas minor). The entire family is among the northern fishes that prefer cold waters and avoid temperatures above 14 degrees. All five species of this fish family inhabit the cold seas of the northern hemisphere. Mainly these are the central and northern Norwegian coasts, the Barents Sea, Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland. There is also a Pacific species, the Pacific wolffish, which is distributed from Japan through the Aleutian Islands to southern California and is considered a popular food fish.

Life

As typical "demersal fish" they have adapted their habits completely to the near-bottom way of life adapted. They mainly stay in a sea depth of 20 to 500 meters or even deeper. They are comparatively calm, sluggish animals that change their location only slowly and do not pursue their prey over longer distances.

Food

Their main diet consists mainly of hard-shelled animals, which they literally crack open with their predatory teeth. These include all kinds of mollusks and small crustaceans. They even eat large hermit crabs and edible crabs as well as stinging animals (starfish, sea urchins).

Characteristics

Sea wolves or catfish are large-bodied fish with elongated bodies. Characteristic of them is their thick head with a broadly rounded snout, armed with massive, powerful teeth. The long dorsal and anal fin seams are not fused to the caudal fin. The tiny scales are deeply embedded in the skin. The main characteristics of the Striped Seawolf are the 10 to 15 dark body stripes from the dorsal fin down. Their basic color is usually gray-green, but almost black or reddish brown specimens also occur. These color variations are explained by the ability of this fish family to adapt their basic coloration to the substrate of their habitat. Thus, rockfish living in mud are muddy blue, those caught in algae areas are brownish, and those from shallow water rich in seagrass are greenish.

Informations

Due to their diet, the dentition of the rockfish is subject to a particularly high "wear and tear" - but nature has taken precautions: the worn teeth fall out before the spawning season and are replaced in winter by a row of regrown teeth.

Fishing method

bottom otter trawls (OTB)

OTB is the abbreviation for the fishing method bottom otter trawls. The funnel-shaped body of the net, which consists of different mesh sizes, is provided with a wing on each side at the front, which together with the upper and lower tension form a net opening reinforced by lines. The horizontal opening of the net is mainly achieved by two otter boards. The vertical opening is achieved by buoyancy bodies and weights on the bottom rope. The so-called ground tackle is adapted to the ground conditions. It usually consists of rubber discs, rollers or other spacers mounted on steel wire and is designed to maximise the catching capacity of the net and at the same time protect it from damage caused by uneven ground. Undesirable by-catches in this fishery are currently reduced by mesh sizes and mesh shapes and by sorting, selecting or guiding grids, especially at the end of the net (codend). So-called escape windows of square meshes in turn allow smaller fish to escape, while larger animals cannot pass through these windows.

Fishing area(s)

Fishing method

bottom otter trawls (OTB)