Verified: Monkfish and Winter Skate

Tidings | Apr 20, 2020

This graphic displays a light brown monkfish and a darker brown winter skate.
Monkfish (left), Winter Skate (right)

In 2011, we created our Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® brand to help people buy seafood they can feel good about. Part of the brand process includes assessing and verifying which species from the Gulf of Maine region are responsibly harvested. This summer, we added two new species to our verified list: monkfish and winter skate. 

"New England has some of the most well-managed fisheries in the world,” says sustainable seafood program manager Kyle Foley. “These two species are both delicious and responsibly harvested, so don’t be afraid to give them a try!”

Monkfish, which live on sandy areas of the ocean floor, are caught mostly by trawl nets in the Gulf of Maine. Fishermen targeting monkfish face strict regulations, including mesh size restrictions for their nets, limits on how much they can catch annually, and minimum legal sizes. Monkfish tails have been compared to lobster in texture and taste, and their livers are highly sought after in international markets. 

Winter skate is a beautifully mild and flaky fish, yet fishermen historically have not pursued them (except for bait), due to lack of consumer demand. Now, as traditionally important species like cod are less available to fishermen, many are turning to fish like winter skate as a source of income.

Visit to see our full list of responsibly harvested species.