Blue Ocean Institute

Kings aplenty, Salisbury Plain, Falkland Islands by Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Monkfish (Anko, Ankimo) These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

Monkfish grow slowly but mature quickly and are typically found in dense aggregations (large groups) on mud and sand bottoms along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and Canada.

They were traditionally caught as bycatch and discarded until the 1980s when market demand first grew in Asia and Europe, and later in North America.

Monkfish were considered “overfished” for many years but through good management their abundance is now at moderate levels. Many fisheries in New England and the Mid-Atlantic catch Monkfish, but the majority are caught in gillnet and bottom-trawl fisheries. Bottom trawling can damage the seafloor.

Full species report here.

This fish may have moderately high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here about mercury in Monkfish. Check out our mercury in seafood section.