The red scorpionfish (Latin: Scorpaena scrofa) is a rather inert bottom-dwelling fish, found mainly in the Mediterranean and the North-East Atlantic. Well-camouflaged, it sits motionless on the ocean floor and waits for prey.
The red scorpionfish has a robust body with flattened sides. Its pectoral fins are large and wide and it grows to a length of 20-30 cm. As a bottom-dwelling fish, the red scorpionfish has no need of a swim bladder. Depending on its habitat, its colour ranges from reddish to brown with light and dark marbling.
It moults at regular intervals, often several times a month. It has large scales that are easily removed.
The red scorpionfish is a crepuscular and nocturnal fish. It hunts crustaceans and small fish, its colour providing the perfect camouflage. As an ambush predator, it waits until its prey is close enough before attacking at lightning speed.
The red scorpionfish is a good edible fish. It can be sautéed or oven-roasted, either whole or filleted.
The red scorpionfish is particularly well known as a typical ingredient in bouillabaisse.
Flavour and texture
Red scorpionfish has firm, white flesh.
After cooking, it often acquires an attractive red colour and its flesh is relatively soft on the palate.
Hooks and long lines
In long-line fishing, numerous bait hooks with branch lines are arranged along a plastic bottom set line. Long lines can be up to 130 kilometres long. However, the amount of bait and length of the line vary greatly.
Mackerel or squid are mainly used as bait. The targeted fish are mostly high-quality edible fish.
The advantages of this fishing method are the comparatively low rate of injury to the target fish compared with net fishing and the fact that the ocean floor is not damaged. The downside of this catch method is the relatively high bycatch rate.