Skip booklet index and go to page content

COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Atlantic wolffish Anarhichas lupus in Canada

Evaluation and Proposed Status

Existing Legal Protection or Other Status

Because the Atlantic wolffish is not at present the target of a directed fishery in the western Atlantic it is unmanaged and there are no specific mechanisms, such as total allowable catch limits, in place that afford it protection.  However, the Canadian Atlantic groundfish moratorium imposed in 1992 in response to the collapse of Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, may have provided some temporary indirect protection for the wolffish by reducing overall trawling pressure.  The Atlantic wolffish currently has no status under IUCN.

The biology of the Atlantic wolffish may provide it with some limited protection.  As a benthic organism which feeds on the bottom, it is unlikely to be caught in trawls above the ocean floor.  Additionally, it frequents caves and crevices between and under large rocks, potentially affording at least some protection from bottom trawls and dredges.