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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen many tv chefs talk about monkfish then go on to call it anglerfish as well. from my research they are 2 totaly diferent fish so why do people perpetuate this story of them being the same? some of my books even refer to them as one fish!? would realy appreciate some expert advice on this, also has anyone caught either?
 

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Only ever got them when i worked on deep sea trawlers, and believe me some where as big as cars, and they bite like f**k got scar on hand to proove it lol. But i always thought angler/monk where the same. Have you googled it ?
 

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The monkfish, known variously as the goosefish, anglerfish, or "allmouth," is a large, ugly, benthic (bottom-dwelling) fish found in the coastal Atlantic area. Its size ranges up to about three feet, and its body is composed mainly of a huge, gaping mouth attached to a muscular tail. The monkfish is an anglerfish; its spine ends in a flexible, extensible cord which it dangles for use as a fishing lure. Along with the Atlantic monkfish,*Lophius americanus, there is also a European version,*L.*piscatorius, that can be found in northern European waters, especially near the*Shetland Islands . Both species are popular as food fish.
 

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Monkfish (also known as angel shark) is a different species to the Anglerfish.
 

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There are lots of related species around the world and the terms Angler fish and Monkfish may refer to different (or occasionally the same) species depending on the source of your information but most British anglers (that's the people not the fish) would recognoise two different species and to avoid confusion the latin names are:

The Angler fish - Lophius Piscatorius
The Monkfish - Squatina Squatina

If you google the latin names you'll be able to easily distinquish between the two.

I think some of the confusion may be due to the fishmongering/catering trade seeking to deliberately mislead people. Monkfish is well known as a prime table fish but frankly Angler fish is very similar in appearance (once gutted, skinned and prepared for the fishmongers slab) and therefore valuable - if it is called Monkfish.

If someone chooses to call it Monkfish then it is Monkfish! (Even though we know it's not).

There is a similar "scam" going on with Pollack at the moment. You'll find that some of the more expensively priced fish cakes in your local supermarket will be listed as containing Pollack. At the moment heavily promoted, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall amongst others, Pollack is very fashionable as it is considered to come from a sustainable fishery.

The fish cakes DO contain Pollack. It is just that the Pollack comes from America where Pollack is the name given to what we know as Coalfish. So your Pollack fish cake is actually made from the rather less fashionable, down market "Coalie".

Pollack - Pollachius Pollachius
Coalfish - Pollachius Virens

Check the packets. Printed on the front will be Pollack and on the back (you may need a magnifying glass for this bit) it will be Pollachius Virens.
 

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It's a minor and subtle difference and not really worth worrying about. Dont see the problem myself; it's why I refer to the whiting I catch as cod, all the same eh? ...:whistling
 

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Misleading the public apart.....do not many fish have commercial fishing/food industry names that are different from their actual species names?
 
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am i right in thinking the monkfish tail is the best bit to eat and possibly the wings ? saw one washed up once with these bits lopped off .
 

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The true monkfish (Squatina squatina) aka Angel Shark is becoming increasingly rare and with fragmented populations is in danger of extinction. I doubt if nowadays it ever gets sold for human consumption.
The angler fish (Lophius piscatorius) is not even a member of the shark family, but it is confusingly called monkfish by commercial fishermen and those in the fish trade. This fish is often sold in supermarkets and restaurants, but nearly always as a skinned tail.
 

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The monkfish or angel shark ( Squatina squatina ) is now a protected species because of its low population levels . It is definitely not landed for sale , in fact i believe a fisherman in Cornwall was prosecuted for doing so earlier this year. I have only ever seen a couple landed many years ago on Brixham market for pot bait. Locally called a Buffoon they are a dark brown colour and look like a shark that has been flattened the flesh is very bloody and unpalatable.
The Anglerfish ( Lophius spp.) on the other hand is a highly prized catch for the commercial fleet caught all around the UK but mainly the Western Channel, Celtic Sea and the North and NW of Scotland it is always marketed as monkfish. In this country only the tail is eaten but in Europe the whole fish is used including the liver.
The pollack used in fish fingers , fish pies etc. is in fact Alaska Pollock or Walleye Pollock which is one of the worlds most sustainable fish stocks, the annual catch is around 3 million tonnes . It is a semipelagic species caught in the North Pacific mainly by American, Japanese and Russian vessels. It was formerly used almost exclusively for production of surimi for crab sticks etc but is now sold in fillet and frozen block form for the production of fish fingers.
 

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There is a similar "scam" going on with Pollack at the moment. You'll find that some of the more expensively priced fish cakes in your local supermarket will be listed as containing Pollack. At the moment heavily promoted, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall amongst others, Pollack is very fashionable as it is considered to come from a sustainable fishery.

The fish cakes DO contain Pollack. It is just that the Pollack comes from America where Pollack is the name given to what we know as Coalfish. So your Pollack fish cake is actually made from the rather less fashionable, down market "Coalie".

Pollack - Pollachius Pollachius
Coalfish - Pollachius Virens

Check the packets. Printed on the front will be Pollack and on the back (you may need a magnifying glass for this bit) it will be Pollachius Virens.
Not quite true, it's almost always Pollock not Pollack that is in the fishcakes etc, the fish used is the Alaska Pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) not the American Pollack ( our Coalfish Pollachius Virens)
 

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Monks used to be a regular catch by the Cardigan Bay charter-fleet. They resemble, for want of a better description, a very fat huss with the wings of a ray built in amidships and teeth somewhere between a huss and a tope. Strange-looking and powerful fish. The tangle-netters nuked them in the 1990s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks guys for the info very interesting. i have an angling book from the1960,s that complains about them being a nusciance!
 

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Monks used to be a regular catch by the Cardigan Bay charter-fleet. They resemble, for want of a better description, a very fat huss with the wings of a ray built in amidships and teeth somewhere between a huss and a tope. Strange-looking and powerful fish. The tangle-netters nuked them in the 1990s.
I saw one around the 50lb mark caught in a net on Penmaenmawr beach when I was a kid :eek:hmy:.

As with most fish It's a damn shame they were overfished, I would love to hook one from the shore :fishing:.
 
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Which ever it was monk or angler, I brother caught one about 10 years ago off the shore on a deep rocky mark using a whole sprat. It only weighed about 3lb and it's teeth were lke something a child would draw on a monster lol. Took a few attemps to get the hook out and it was snapping at me all the time but I eventually released it back to the depths. Never heard of anyone catching one there before in that area and probably never will again, just one of those rare catches.
 
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