Jun 1, 2009

The ugliest, tastiest fish in the ocean

The monkfish. It's a fish that lays on the sea bottom, and it looks like a flattened turd with some gnarly teeth. When staring at the face of this nature's hiccup, who thinks to themselves, "I want to eat you"?

Only a mother could love this face. Maybe a very blind mother.

People on the northeastern coast also call this fugly pancake with fangs a "goosefish". It is reminiscent of an anglerfish, with its filamentous fleshy lures. When the lures are touched by a prey item (or anything for that matter), the massive maw sucks the snack in and the toothy trap slams shut. Monkfish can be up to 5 ft long, and apparently they taste delicious. The tail meat of the monkfish is very similar to a lobster tail, dubbing the meat "poor man's lobster". The fisheries for the monkfish are in north western Europe and North America, where they use beam trawls to stir up the fish from the bottom and into the trawl net. The beam trawl incorporates a solid metal beam that is mounted on a frame which keeps the net open. The beam is about as long as a bus, and weighs between 4 and 8 tons. It is also outfitted with several tons of tickler chains, which are mounted in front of the beam and function to agitate the sea bottom to "tickle" fish into moving upwards and into the net.

Beam trawls are extremely destructive to marine habitats, digging up to 8cm of sea bottom as they are pulled along. Any vertical habitat the trawls are pulled across instantly turns into a parking lot.

Two monkfish fisheries in the Atlantic have been reported to be "rebuilt" by NOAA's Fishery Service a few days ago, along with Alantic Bluefish and Gulf of Mexico King Mackerel. They were fished unsustainably in the past, and recent management has reversed their diminshed numbers. Despite the rebuilt monkfish population, some supermarkets and fish markets continue to boycott species like monkfish, because of the destructive fishing practices that bring them to the dinner plate.


Honestly, I'd like to try it. I'm pretty open for trying new things, especially from the ocean. But most people after taking one look, would probably rather eat bantha fodder.


  1. It probably tastes like poo-doo.

  2. you, sir, may be the one blog i follow that's actually educational. :)

    (your dad told me about this at joanne's surprise birthday party yesterday...)