Wolf fish

A Wolf Fish; The Atlantic Wolffish: Anarhichas lupus

Meet another member of the family of wolf-ish living creatures on our planet.

Where can you find a Wolffish?

This is the Atlantic Wolfish, who can be found in their highest numbers in the areas near the West Gulf of Maine in the United States. Their habitats extend beyond the United States though and can be found as far as Canada, Greenland, Europe, and Iceland. The Wolffish takes preference to waters in depth of about 300 feet, but can be found as deep as 1,600 feet deep in waters that can be below freezing temperatures. At this depth they frequently prefer to make shelter or home out of rocks or areas that have a rocky cropping s for environment.

Atlantic Wolffish

Atlantic Wolffish (Photo Credit: NOAA)

What does a Wolffish look like?

The Wolfish is said to have a slight “muscular” type of look to his body making him look like he (or she) has a firm toned shape. Other descriptions also say that there will be lines along his body that indicate the toned characteristics and colors.

Canine teeth!

Probably how the Wolfish got his name or persona, this fish does have jaws that show fairly large sized canine teeth. Because of the diet that the Wolffish ingests and the hard objects he encounters in his prey, the Wolffish’s canines wear out but are replaced on an annual cycle during spawning season.

Why have you probably not seen a Wolfish?

Anarhichas lupus currently in Canada has been put on a list (SARA: Species at risk) that temporarily keeps watch and protects the beautiful fish from becoming an extinct species, but not so much in the United States.

Many animals or organisms can become threatened for a number of reasons, including: destruction of habitats, and in this particular case “overfishing.” Research indicates that this particular species of fish is probably being “overfished” by fishermen who provide fish for many of us to enjoy. If the Wolfish could gain protection under the act there would be responsibilities among fishermen to release such an endangered or protected fish.

The latest information I could find on the species in the U.S. is that papers have been filed and the fish is under considerable concerns of possibly becoming extinct and at minimum endangered if it does not gain protection under the Threatened or Endangered Species Act.

How to help: There are ways a concerned person can try to help get the Wolffish onto the list. One of the first things to do would be to write the appropriate federal agencies and protection agencies about the problem and tell them how you think and feel about the Wolffish.

Liked the Wolffish? Check out Wolf’s Mona Monkey!

(Reference NOAA)



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