Bluemouth

(Helicolenus dactylopterus)

This large specimen of a bluemouth was caught east of Muckle Flugga by a sea angler on the Yell-based boat Compass Rose on 2nd July 2018.

Species Information

Bluemouth (also known as bluemouth rockfish or blackbelly rosefish) are found in both the eastern and western Atlantic Ocean. In the east their range extends from Iceland and northern-Norway to South Africa. Bluemouth are most commonly found in depths from 150 to 600 metres on the continental shelf and upper continental slope, where they tend to inhabit areas of soft sediment.

Bluemouth vary from reddish-pink to orange in colour, with a pale underside. The roof of the mouth and gill chambers are bluish-black in colour (see picture below), hence the name "bluemouth".

Their diet is varied and includes crustaceans, echinoderms, cephalopods and fish, though larger fish tend to feed predominantly on fish.

Bluemouth belong to the family 'Sebastidae' which also includes the Norway haddock (Sebastes norvegicus) and other species of redfish.

Further Information

Specimen Details

Species: Helicolenus dactylopterus (Delaroche, 1809)

This relatively large specimen was caught about one and a half miles east of Muckle Flugga by sea angler Stuart Walker on the Yell-based tour boat Compass Rose on 2nd July 2018 and was handed in by the boat's skipper Kevin Tulloch.

Total length = 39cm. Bluemouth grow up to 50 cm, but any over 28 cm are considered 'large'.

Weight = 1.2 kg (3lbs 12oz). The maximum recorded weight of a bluemouth is 1.6 kg.

Close up of the pectoral fin.

The inside of the mouth, showing the blue colour of the roof of the mouth which gives the fish its name.


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