Save This Ugly Fish

Conservation group wants feds to protect grotesque wolffish

Save this bottom-feeding fish.

A conservation group is seeking federal protection for the Atlantic wolffish, a grotesque-looking species that lives along the ocean bottom in deep waters off New England.

Conservation Law Foundation officials said the wolffish is under pressure because of overfishing and destructive bottom trawling. The group's petition seeks to have it listed as endangered.

The ferocious-looking wolffish, which can grow up to 5 feet in length, have long eel-like tails and sharp teeth that can gobble whole urchins and crabs in a few swift chomps.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has listed the fish as a "species of concern," calling the stock over-exploited and severely depleted.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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