Life of Sea | Monkfish | Monkfish or headfish is the English name of several species of fish in the northwest Atlantic, especially species of the anglerfish genus Lophius and angelshark Squatina genus. The term is also sometimes used for a European sea monster more often called a sea monk. Monkfish is the English name for the most common genus Lophius in the northeast Atlantic, but goosefish used as an equivalent term on the eastern coast of North America. Lophius has three long filaments growing from the middle of the head, it is detached and modified three first spines anterior dorsal fin.
As in most anglerfish species, the longest filament is the first (Illicium), which ended in an irregular growth of flesh, the esca. This modified fin ray is a move in any direction. This esca is used as a lure to attract other fishes, which monkfish then typically swallow whole. Experiments have shown that if the prey has been attracted to temptation or not is completely irrelevant, as the action of the jaws is an automatic reflex triggered by contact with the esca. Two species, Lophius piscatorius and Lophius budegassa, which is found in the north-west of Europe, and referred to as monkfish, with L. piscatorius by far the most common species around the British Isles and the interests of the major fisheries. Under UK Labelling Regulations, the phrase "monkfish" only allowed to Lophiodes caulinaris, Lophius americanus, Lophius budegassa and Lophius piscatorius.
In Europe and North America, the texture of the tail meat of fish of the genus Lophius, is sometimes compared to lobster tail and has been alluded to as the "poor man lobster," even though it commands prices equivalent to, and in some cases exceeding, lobster and other seafood . According to Seafood Watch, monkfish consumption raises sustainability concerns of the past due to overfishing and habitat destruction caused by the use of seabed trawling and gillnets to catch this fish.
The second group of fish also known as monkfish are members of the genus Squatina, in the angel shark family Squatinidae. It is a form somewhat similar to the anglerfish, but completely unrelated because they elasmobranchs. This fish is of little significance only for human consumption, even though they are at risk because they are caught as bycatch by trawlers. Monkfish commonly eaten throughout Portugal and coastal areas north and south of Spain, such as Catalonia, Valencia and Galicia.