Black scabbard fish

Black scabbard fish, Aphanopus carbo

IUCN Red List assessment: Least Concern

Pencil on paper

Artist: Heidi Richardson

Black scabbard fish are a deep water species found at depths between 200 and 2,300 meters. They are a predatory species and have elongated bodies (up to 110cm) and a mouth of strong, fang like teeth allowing them to catch other fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. They are a commercially important species and are fished using longlines in the waters around Madeira and Portugal and by trawlers in the deep waters off the west coast of Scotland. They are managed through a licencing system and the setting of Total Allowable Catches (TACs) which, as they are a deep sea species, are set every two years.

More information on Black scabbard fish can be found at:

Click here for a short video of a black scabbard fish in action.

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