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Atlantic wolffish

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Green
Second choice
Avoid
Bycatch
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General

Atlantic wolffish

Atlantic wolffish, Atlantic catfish, seawolf, or devil fish, is a unique-looking fish with a large head and big frontal teeth. Their rear teeth are adjusted to be able to crack hard materials like crab shells and larger species of mollusc. Atlantic wolffish have a dark blue-greyish or greenish colour and can grow up to 1.5 m in length and can reach 22 years of age. This species is native to the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean and can be found on rocky, sandy, or muddy seabed’s at depths of up to 500 metres. Atlantic wolfish is gaining in popularity among consumers and is appearing increasingly on restaurant menus.

 

Atlantic wolffish

Anarhichas lupus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Danish seine

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The state of the Atlantic wolffish stock is not exactly known. From catch data can however be derived that the stock is improving compared to past years. The current fishing pressure is also on the determined sustainable level.

Fishing with Danish seines has relatively little bycatch, bycatch of sharks and rays occurs however. Bycatch is not discarded and there is strict enforcement and regulations. The impact of Danish seines on the ecosystem is unknown.

Wolffish eat sea urchins and introduced crab species and in doing so controls these populations. It is also a prey species for grey seals. It is therefore in the interest of the entire ecosystem that seawolf does not become overfished.

There is a management plan for wolffish in Iceland. This is effective, however, the catches are still higher than the TAC (Total Allowable Catch).

 

 

Atlantic wolffish

Anarhichas lupus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Anchored gillnets

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The state of the Atlantic wolffish stock is not exactly known. From catch data can however be derived that the stock is improving compared to past years. The current fishing pressure is also on the determined sustainable level.

Fishing wolffish with anchored gillnets has bycatch, mainly of sharks and rays. This bycatch is however not discarded and there are strict checkups. The direct effect of this fishery on the rest of the ecosystem is unknown. Wolffish eat sea urchins and introduced crab species and in doing so controls these populations. It is also a prey species for grey seals. It is therefore in the interest of the entire ecosystem that seawolf does not become overfished.

The management plan made for wolffish is effective. This plan is on ecosystem level, which means that the whole ecosystem is managed and not only wolffish.

 

 

Atlantic wolffish

Anarhichas lupus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Set longlines

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The state of the Atlantic wolffish stock is unknown. Wolffish is very vulnerable to fishing pressure and has been fished without stock estimates for a few years now.

Wolffish leads generally a slow and  unnoted existence. This fish sometimes occurs in vulnerable habitats, like cold-water corals. It is therefore important that the fishing method doesn’t damage these habitats. Wolffish eat sea urchins and introduced crab species and in doing so controls these populations. It is also a prey species for grey seals. It is therefore in the interest of the entire ecosystem that seawolf does not become overfished.

The fishery in this area is under the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU. There are no quotas for wolffish and there is no management plan.

 

Atlantic wolffish

Anarhichas lupus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)
Deelgebieden: Barents sea

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom otter trawl

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The state of the Atlantic wolffish stock is unknown. Wolffish is very vulnerable to fishing pressure and has been fished without stock estimates for a few years now.

Wolffish leads generally a slow and  unnoted existence. This fish sometimes occurs in vulnerable habitats, like cold-water corals. It is therefore important that the fishing method doesn’t damage these habitats. Bottom otter trawls however do a lot of damage to the bottom. Wolffish eat sea urchins and introduced crab species and in doing so controls these populations. It is also a prey species for grey seals. It is therefore in the interest of the entire ecosystem that seawolf does not become overfished.

There is a management plan for the fishery on wolffish, but the effectiveness of this management cannot be assessed due to a lack of data.

 

Atlantic wolffish

Anarhichas lupus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)
Deelgebieden: Barents sea

Farming- / Catch method

Set longlines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The state of the Atlantic wolffish stock is unknown. Wolffish is very vulnerable to fishing pressure and has been fished without stock estimates for a few years now.

Wolffish leads generally a slow and  unnoted existence. This fish sometimes occurs in vulnerable habitats, like cold-water corals. It is therefore important that the fishing method doesn’t damage these habitats. Wolffish eat sea urchins and introduced crab species and in doing so controls these populations. It is also a prey species for grey seals. It is therefore in the interest of the entire ecosystem that seawolf does not become overfished.

There is a management plan for the fishery on wolffish, but the effectiveness of this management cannot be assessed due to a lack of data.

 

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.

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