Anglerfish (Lophius spp) in Nordic waters

image of Anglerfish (Lophius spp) in Nordic waters

The demand for anglerfish for human consumption has increased in the last couple of decades because of the delicate consistency of its meat. Accordingly, the fishing pressure has increased considerably in all Nordic fishing regions. Relatively little has, however, hitherto been known about anglerfish biology and ecology. Assessment and management of Nordic anglerfish stocks is difficult to conduct due to the paucity of fisheries and biological data. Answers to questions regarding the spawning behaviour, migratory behaviour and juvenile drift, as well as more knowledge about growth, sexual maturation, diet and natural mortality, would thus form crucial contributions to present and future management of Nordic anglerfish stocks. This report presents a review of the status of current knowledge and research on the biology, ecology, fisheries and stock management of anglerfish in Nordic and European countries, including results and publications from a three-year Nordic cooperative anglerfish research project (2002-2004). Preliminary attempts were made at estimating current levels of fishing mortality in the Nordic regions, and the yield and spawning stock per anglerfish recruit. Recommendations on future research are also given.



Fisheries, assessment and management of anglerfish stocks

Nordic fisheries directed at anglerfish take place on the continental shelf areas around the Faroes and Iceland and west and south of Norway, specifically in ICES Divisions IIa, IIIa, IVa,b and Va,b (see Figure 1.1). For the purposes of the present report these areas are defined as Nordic waters. Northern and Southern Shelf refer to areas defined in reports prepared by the ICES Demersal Stocks Assessment Working Groups for these areas (e.g. Anon. 2006) (see Figure 1.1), and may basically be characterised as the continental shelf north and south of the English Channel, respectively.


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