The glacier lanternfish (Benthosema glaciale) is most common in the North East Atlantic. Photographer: Amanda Schadeberg.

Lantern fish on the plate?

Friday 15 May 20

Is there a future in the commercial catch of lantern fish? This is what PhD Student Amanda Schadeberg  investigates as part of the MEESO project.

An article in the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland challenge the concept of edible seafood. Could jelly fish or lantern fish be commonly consumed instead of some of more well-known but often heavily exploited fish species? 

Lantern fish is currently not commercially exploited, but it’s one of the key species among the organisms living in the deep sea, the so-called mesopelagic organisms, which represent the largest unexploited resource left in the world's oceans. 

But as PhD Student Amanda Schadeberg, Wageningen University, points out in the article, there are some hurdles to overcome if lantern fish are to be caught commercially. For instance, lantern fish swim much deeper than fishermen normally fish and they don’t swim in schools, so they are more difficult to catch. Furthermore, lantern fish are small (5 to 15 centimeters), soft and greasy, so the question is how they can be used as food. Perhaps they are more likely to be used as feed. 

Amanda Schadeberg will investigate this together with her colleagues at Wageningen University and 18 other European research institutions and industry partners during the four year EU H2020 MEESO research project.

The overarching question of the MEESO project is whether organisms living deep in the oceans (mesopelagic organisms) can be exploited in an ecologically and economically sustainable way, or are they too fragile and vulnerable?

Go to the article in the magazine Vrij Nederland (in Dutch) 


Amanda Schadeberg, Wageningen University & Research,
PhD Student in the MEESO project
8 MAY 2021