Our KS Signature Monkfish is caught off the coast of Massachusetts and at times off the coast of Maine. The directed fishery for Monkfish is relatively new; these fish were once considered nothing more than bycatch. However, as other groundfish like cod and halibut declined in the 1980s and 1990s, more and more Monkfish were caught in New England and the Mid-Atlantic. As a result, they, too, became overfished. Now that our scientific understanding of their populations improved and fishing effort declined, Monkfish are no longer overfished.
The market for Monkfish is for human consumption. U.S. wild-caught monkfish is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations. Regulations limit possession of bycatch species and require modified fishing gear to reduce bycatch.
A Monkfish Fact: A fish for monks: It's believed monks used to head down to fishing markets and ask for any unused fish. As Monkfish have an unappealing look and were often caught as a byproduct, fishmongers would give their Monkfish to the church to eat!