A new addition to the NAFC Marine Centre’s “discovery zone” last week was a bluemouth, caught be a sea angler and handed in by Kevin Tulloch.
The large specimen was caught east of Muckle Flugga by an angler on the Yell-based boat Compass Rose.
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), 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.