Black scabbardfish

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Black scabbardfish
Aphanopus carbo1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Trichiuridae
Genus: Aphanopus
Species: A. carbo
Binomial name
Aphanopus carbo
Lowe, 1839
Black scabbardfish at Funchal market, Madeira

The black scabbardfish, Aphanopus carbo, is a bathypelagic cutlassfish of the family Trichiuridae found in the Atlantic Ocean between latitudes 69° N and 27° N at depths of between 180 to 1,700 m (591 to 5,577 ft).[1] Its length is up to 110 cm, but it reaches maturity at around 80 to 85 cm.

Description[edit]

The black scabbardfish is a fish with a body that is extremely elongated, with body depth 10.8 to 13.4 times in SL. The snout is large with strong fang-like teeth. The dorsal fin has 34 to 41 spines and 52 to 56 soft rays. The anal fin has 2 spines and 43 to 48 soft rays. The pelvic fins are represented by a single spine in juveniles but are entirely absent in adults. The color is a coppery black with an iridescent tint. The inside of the mouth and gill cavities are black. Juveniles are believed to be mesopelagic, living at depths from 100 to 500 m (328 to 1,640 ft).[2]

Biology[edit]

The black scabbardfish is bathypelagic by day but moves upwards in the water column at night to feed at middle depths on crustaceans, cephalopods and other fishes, mostly grenadiers, codlings (family Moridae) and naked heads (family Alepocephalidae). They become sexually mature at a length of about 80 cm (31 in). Both the eggs and the larvae are pelagic, drifting with the plankton.[2]

Economic value[edit]

The black scabbardfish is of economic importance to fisheries associated with countries of the Iberian Peninsula, and especially with the Madeira Islands where they are prized for food. [3] Because of its good flesh quality, it usually fetches high prices.

Conservation[edit]

The Marine Conservation Society has rated the scabbardfish as a species vulnerable to overfishing. According to MCS, there is little information to indicate that the fishery for this species is sustainable.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moralez-Nin, Beatriz; Sena-Carvalho, Dalila (1996). "Age and growth of the black scabbard fish (Aphanopus carbo) off Madeira.". Fisheries Research 25: 239–251. 
  2. ^ a b "Aphanopus carbo Lowe, 1839: Black scabbardfish". FishBase. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  3. ^ Moralez-Nin, Beatriz; Sena-Carvalho, Dalila (1996). "Age and growth of the black scabbard fish (Aphanopus carbo) off Madeira.". Fisheries Research 25: 239–251. 
  4. ^ "Fish to Avoid".