Habitat & Distribution
This species has always been rare in Cornish waters. It seems to have been slightly more common in the early part of the 20th century when several large specimens were caught. Historically it has been found throughout British and Irish waters, however its current status is unknown. It is predominantly a benthic and demersal fish usually found over sand, gravel or clay and is found in the colder waters of the north Atlantic from the Bay of Biscay to Spitzbergen in depths of 50-2000m. In Cornwall it is at the southern-most extreme of its distribution range. It has suffered a massive decline in the last two centuries due to over-fishing. Its slow growth-rate and late onset of sexual maturity makes this species very vulnerable by delaying recovery from over-fishing. It is on the IUCN Red List as ' Endangered' and is also on the UK List of Priority Species.