Tips for handling and releasing Wolffish

Crab Fishing

Crab fishing / wolffish

The Species at Risk Act

Two of the three wolffish species found in waters off Atlantic Canada are at risk of becoming extinct. The third species is of Special Concern.

A new Canadian 'Species at Risk' law protects those species. This new law was created to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct, but no single group or organization can ensure the recovery of a species. We all have a part to play.

Wolffish are incidentally caught in some of the most common fishing gears used throughout Atlantic Canada. Proper handling and quick release of wolffish back into the water improves their chances of survival.

Like all animals, wolffish play an important role in the ecosystem of the ocean and their survival depends on all of us working together.

Wolffish and snow crab in crab net
Fisher holding a wolffish gently and avoiding touching the gills.
Worker Using a sorting table to remove wolffish from catch.
Worker releasing wolffish.

Avoid using sharp instruments such as gaffs and knives when handling wolffish.

If you do not want to handle a wolffish or it is a large wolffish use a dip net to release the fish.

Avoid dropping wolffish on to hard surfaces.

Northern wolffish Spotted wolffish Striped wolffish

For more information please contact your nearest DFO Office or visit: Species at Risk Public Registry.