The Northern Wolffish (Anarhichas denticulatus)
There are four species of Wolffishes, Atlantic Anarhichas lupus, (Linnaeus, 1758), Northern A. denticulatus, (Krøyer, 1845), Spotted A. minor and Bering Wolffish A. orientalis (Pallas, 1814). All four Wolffishes are Osteichthyes or bony fishes and are in the order of Perciformes or perch-like fish The focus of my paper is on the Northern Wolffish A. denticulatus and its role in Alaskan fisheries or lack there of. The only reason I knew there was Northern Wolffish in Alaskan waters is because two have washed up on shore near Barrow and are now in the UAF Museum of the North ichthyology collection, (Lopez, 2010).
There is very little is know about the Northern Wolffish in Alaskan waters, however it is known that they are a regular source of food for Ringed Seals Phoca hispida in the Chukchi Sea, (NOAA, 2010). A majority of the studies done on Northern Wolffish have been conducted in the North Atlantic do to their high density in that area (figure: 1). Figure: 1 Wolffish density
Caption: Density of Wolffish in the North Atlantic.
Wolffish are known to migrate small distances base on a study conducted by Templeman, (1984). The study suggested that they may follow food short distances in order to protect the bait from other fish. Their primary food Ctenophora or Comb Jellies (Concepción González, Xabier Paz, Esther Román and M. Alvárez, 2006) (Figure: 2) are were found most often in the stomachs of Northern Wolffish. Northern Wolffish are distributed over a wide range of depths, from 38 to 1504 m the maximum depth surveyed by Concepción González, Xabier Paz, Esther Román and M. Alvárez (2006). The densest concentrations of fish occurred offshore between 500m and at temperatures ranging from 2 to 5° C. Temperature is an important feature of wolffish habitat. All the species of...
References: McCusker, M.R. (2009). The demographic history and population structure of three species of wolffishes across the North Atlantic Ocean. PhD thesis, Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. 203 p.
Templeman, Wilfred, (1984), Migrations of Wolffishes, Anarhichas sp.,
From Tagging in the Newfoundland Area, Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science, Vol
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