The Walton’s Say No to Monkfish

I am orginally from Arkansas so I am all too acquainted with the evil that is Wal-Mart. In Conway, AR, my favorite hardware store and a lot of the local downtown shops are gone now thanks to the new supercenter. Apparenlty, ADSA has fallen far(?) from the tree. ASDA is a supermarket chain found throughout the U.K. and is part of the Wal-Mart “family”. The BBC reports today that ASDA is to stop selling Monkfish.

The retail giant says it will no longer supply the restaurant favourite until there are more sustainable ways of catching it. Asda said the technique used to harvest the deep-sea monkfish was damaging to the marine ecosystem. It urged celebrity chefs to stop serving or endorsing the fish.

Monkfish is the common term used for any manner of fish typically of the genus Lophius in the anglerfishes. The moniker is also used for angel shark but those typically don’t wind up on your dinner plate. Most common of the strip-mined harvested species is Lophius piscatorius Its a bottom fish with a depth range of 20 – 1000m. Suprisingly it does not appear to be on the IUCN red list. Oddly it was considered worthless but increasing prices for monkfish livers in Asian markets provided a market. The species is dredged or trawled both which have been repetitively shown to destroy marine habitats.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.