The LumpFISH

Lumpfish or lumpsuckers are mostly small marine fish of the family Cyclopteridae. They are found in the cold waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. 

Cyclopterus lumpus

Cyclopterus lumpus

the life of the lumpfish

The lumpfish lives a symbiotic life and often is referred to as a ‘cleaner’ fish, finding most of its food in the form of parasites that live on or near the bottom of the sea or on other fish such as salmon. The fastidious lumpfish will diligently nibble its meal off rocks or swim alongside an infected fish, picking off sea lice and other parasites. A single lumpsucker can eat over one hundred sea lice in the course of a meal.

Lumpfish Facts:

  • Can reach 14 lbs (6.5 kg) and 13 years of age
  • Round and ‘lumpy’ shape with 7 lines of tuberculas
  • Skin is thick and one dorsal fin is hidden by a tubercula
  • Suction-disc located ventrally
  • No swim bladder – uses thick cartilage for buoyancy
  • Color varies genetically and during spawning
  • Can live up to two years in coastal areas before migrating to sea
  • Diet consists of crustaceans, sea lice, jellyfish and some fish
  • Adult fish migrate back to coastal areas when they reach sexual maturation
  • Are naturally found from the coast of Portugal all the way north to Russia
  • Lumpfish are a popular eating fish throughout Scandinavia, China and Japan
  • The roe is used extensively in Scandinavian cuisine and across Europe as an affordable alternative to the caviar produced by sturgeons.