|The monkfish, always in demand in Europe
and the Orient, has become a very popular foodfish in the United States
in the last decade or so. The tail is composed of firm, white flesh that
holds up extremely well while being cooked and has the mild flavor so highly
regarded in domestice markets. The livers are in high demand in Japan.
Also known as the goosefish, the monkfish, is easily recognizable with its flattened body, very large mouth, loose, slimey skin and generally disagreeable appearance. A bottom dweller, it lures unsuspecting prey - usually other fish - within reach of its powerful jaws by dangling the fleshy tip of its dorsal spine enticingly in front of its mouth.
A significant directed gillnet fishery for monkfish has developed in several Mid-Atlantic ports including Barnegat Light. They are also an important bycatch in the scallop and groundfish fisheries and some trawlers target them in deep offshore waters.