Monkfish/Goosefish & Monkfish liver

  • From:
    U.S. - Atlantic
    Wild, otter trawl, sink gill net, and scallop dredge
Monkfish - Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monkfish are fast growing and relatively short-lived compared to other deep-living fishes, maturing at three to five years and as small as 30 cm total length. Monkfish are sedentary, bottom-dwellers in the family Lophiidae (goosefishes) that inhabit the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada to Cape Hatteras in the United States and may also be found as far south as northern Florida. Monkfish are scaleless and soft-bodied, with very broad, depressed heads (the head is as wide as the fish is long) and enormous mouths. They have long, sharp teeth and a modified spine called an “esca,” which can be angled forward so dangles in front of the fish’s mouth and is wiggled like bait to lure prey.

Monkfish have been known to eat prey at least half their size or more, using the powerful vacuum created by the rapid expansion of their mouth. These sedentary bottom-dwellers, moving slowly or “walk” with their pectoral fins, often hiding in shallow depressions in sediment. Seasonal migrations seem to be related to spawning and food availability. In the northern Atlantic off Canada, monkfish are largely concentrated in a narrow band on the southern Grand Banks, with no significant seasonal shifts.



  • Sushi Name(s)Anikimo
  • Common Name(s)Goosefish, Monkfish, Anglerfish, Angerl, Allmouth, Lotte (Europe), Molligut, Bellyfish, Lawyerfish, Fishing frog
  • Scientific Name(s)Lophius americanus