A synthesis of the early life history of the anglerfish, Lophius piscatorius (Linnaeus, 1758) in northern British waters

J.R.G. Hislop, A. Gallego, M.R. Heath, F.M. Kennedy, S.A. Reeves, P.J. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Although the anglerfish Lophius piscatorius is now a species of major commercial importance, our understanding of its basic biology is far from complete. Here, the early lire history of L. piscatorius is investigated by otolith daily increment analysis, the application of a particle tracking model and an examination of the geographical distribution of pelagic and demersal anglerfish. Otolith incremental analysis indicates that the pelagic phase is relatively long(ca. 120 days) and growth during the first year of life is rapid. A particle tracking model predicts that pelagic post larvae of known age caught west of the outer Hebrides could originate from the shelf edge west of Ireland. the Rockall Plateau and the northern perimeter of the North Sea. whereas those caught in the northern North Sea are likely to originate from the western edge of the Norwegian Deep and the shelf edge west and north of Scotland. The model also predicts that a large proportion of the young anglerfish originating from a spawning area located west of the Outer Ht brides will enter the North Sea and that although most of the spawning products originating at Rockall will recruit to the Rockall Plateau some may be transported northwest and some to the northern perimeter of the North Sea. The distribution of the demersal stages suggests that L.. piscatorius spawns in deep water. the transition from the pelagic to the demersal phase takes place in relatively shallow water and must recruits enter the North Sea from the north and west. The finding that some juveniles may settle on the seabed hundreds of kilometres from the spawning grounds has major implications for the effective management of the fishery
Original languageEnglish
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)70-86
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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