Ugly delicacy? Industry touts weird looking monkfish

GLOUCESTER — Now serving sea monsters.

That’s the message from members of the fishing industry, environmentalists and regulators who are trying to persuade U.S. consumers to eat more of a particularly weird-looking creature from the deep — monkfish.

Gloucester’s mayor, Sefatia Romeo Theken, will be doing her part on March 12, serving monkfish during an invite-only fresh seafood demonstration and tasting during the Seafood Expo North America in Boston.

Monkfish have been commercially fished for years, but recent analyses by the federal government show the monster-like bottom dweller can withstand more fishing pressure. However, U.S. fishermen often fall short of their quota for the fish.

A lack of reliable markets for the fish and convoluted fishing regulations make it difficult to catch the full quota, fishermen said. Nevertheless, the U.S. government is upping harvesters’ limits for monkfish for the next three years.

Some New England fishermen switched to targeting monkfish in recent decades when traditional

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