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The life of the lumpfish is poorly mapped. They are born in the summer from a lump of roe (eggs) that the male lumpfish has guarded for two months. Several female lumpfishes contribute to the same lump of eggs from February to May. The female lumpfishes are invited to a suitable spawning ground of males guarding it.

Each female spawn 1/7 of their body weight. When fertilized, the eggs become sticky and they attract to stones or rocky bottom. The eggs from the different females have different color, so that the lump of eggs guarded by one male may be both green, yellow and red.

The small lumpfishes growing up in the kelp forest, hide and seek to attach themselves with a suction disk on kelp blades, where we can see them as small buds. When they are a year old, and slightly larger than a Golf ball, they swim out into the open sea. Here they feed on plankton in 2-4 years before they wander back to the coast to spawn.

The species is found throughout the eastern Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, Baltic Sea and Barents Sea. Lumpfish may travel great distances in the ocean, and it is uncertain whether there are several distinct populations, and how large these are. In Norway, we estimate that the main population to be is fish spawning in Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, but there is fish spawning along for the rest of the coast.

About lumpfish

Latin name: Cyclopterus lumpus
Norwegian names: Rognkjeks (female), Rognkall (male), Rognkjølse
Family: Cyclopteridae (Lumpfishes)
Maximum size: Up to 63 cm and 5.5 kg
Lifespan: More than 7-8 years old, maybe 15
Habitat: Kelp forest belt along the coast during first year of life, then freely swimming in the ocean. Living from Biscay to Iceland and the northern Barents Sea
Spawning area: Along the coast of the eastern Atlantic Ocean on the shallow water in the entire distribution area
Spawning time: In the spring, giving the basis for fisheries.
Food Habits: Mainly plankton found in open water


Knut Sunnanå
900 84 699