Life above the reef

Life above the reef is dominated by highly mobile animals such as fish. They form shoals, circling above. These animals may never stray far from the reef, depending on it for food and shelter. The reefs seem to provide important habitats for fish like redfish (Sebastes spp.), perhaps giving them shelter to spawn their young.

Some common species of fish observed on and around cold-water coral reefs include: wolf fish (Anarhichas lupus), tusk (Brosme brosme),ling (Molva molva), orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus), monkfish (Lophius piscatorius), cod (Gadus macrocephalus) and many others.

Brosme brosme Anarhichas lupus
(Wolf fish)
Sebastes sp. (Redfish)
Brosme brosme, North Sea © Lundin Petroleum Ltd (2002). Anarhichas lupus, Wolf fish, North Sea © Lundin Petroleum Ltd (2002).  Sebastes sebastes or Norwegian Haddock next to an oil rig support, North Sea © Lundin Petroleum LTD (2002).
Brosme brosme is a highly commercial fish species found on cold-water coral reefs. The wolf fish has very powerful jaws that it uses to eat crabs, echinoderms and molluscs. Redfish are highly prized and have been fished for many years.