Last year when I visited a fish market at Gothenburg in Sweden, I spotted a prehistoric looking fish staring at me from inside of a fish parlor. This fish is big and flat, with no scales and when the owner pried the big mouth opened for me to see, there were little teeth in its throat, ready to bite anything that gets swallowed alive!!
It was an Anglerfish, also known as a Monkfish, and in many Asian countries, it is considered to be a nutritious delicacy. In Taiwan and Japan, the whole fish can be eaten, including soft bones and the meat and it is often cooked in hot pot and then dipped in soy sauce before eating. The fish liver also makes a delicious course in Asia, comparable to eating goose liver in the Western world. In Europe and North America, however, only the tail meat of fish is used for cooking, and often described as having the same taste and texture as lobster tail meat!
Incidentally, anglerfish have a very interesting reproductive life. The male is significantly smaller in size than the female and its only purpose in life is to be the sperm donor of the female. As soon as a male fish is hatched, he looks for a female fish to attach himself to in a parasitical way. He bites her skin to release an enzyme that will fuse his mouth with her body down to the blood-vessel level, and then slowly, everything on the male fish atrophies, leaving only a pair of gonads to release sperm. Multiple males can be attached onto just one single female.
What a life!!!
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
I love traveling around the world, and think of myself as a little adventurist. I have visited more than 60 countries, with multiple trips to certain destinations. I enjoy writing and analysing things … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Monkfish (or Headfish) is the English name of a number of types of fish in the northwest Atlantic, most notably the species of the anglerfish genus Lophius and the angelshark genus Squatina. The term is also occasionally used for a European sea monster more often called a sea monk.
Monkfish is the most common English name for the genus Lophius in the northwest Atlantic but goosefish is used as the equivalent term on the eastern coast of North America. Lophius has three long filaments sprouting from the middle of the head; these are the detached and modified three first spines of the anterior dorsal fin. As in most anglerfish species, the longest filament is the first (illicium), which terminates in an irregular growth of flesh, the esca. This modified fin ray is movable in all directions. This esca is used as a lure to attract other fishes, which monkfish then typically swallow whole. Experiments have shown, however, that whether the prey has been attracted to the lure or not is not strictly relevant, as the action of the jaws is an automatic reflex triggered by contact with the esca.
It grows to a length of more than 1.5 m (5 ft); specimens of 1 m (3 ft) are common. The largest recorded specimen caught weighed 99.4 kg (219 lbs).