Significance to humans

The most obvious significance to humans of greenlings and sculpins is the importance as food of the few commercially sought species. Before the availability of ice or refrigeration systems, the lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) was the target of fishing with hook and line by boats with flooded holds for keeping the fish live (and therefore fresh) until delivery to processing plants. The lack of a swimbladder enabled keeping the lingcod alive during extended fishing trips.

Diversification of fish farming that currently involves salmon species may soon include various relatives of green-lings. The sablefish or Alaska blackcod, Anoplopoma fimbria, is the subject of aquaculture research in British Columbia, and at the turn of the millennium the first commercially produced, cultured fingerlings were being grown to market size by salmon farmers.

The unusual body forms of various sculpins and related fishes lends aesthetic value to them. They are popular species for display in public aquariums. Seacoast tourism depends to some extent on the attraction people feel toward exploring tidepools along rocky shores, and intertidal sculpins are among the most readily observed species. Marine biological research has long encompassed study of intertidal sculpins because of their accessibility, and to a similar extent, because of their robust ability to withstand manipulation like tagging or maintenance in aquarium tanks.

1. Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria); 2. Lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus); 3. Breeding male kelp greenling (Hexagrammos decagrammus); 4. Breeding male lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus); 5. Slipskin snailfish (Liparis fucensis); 6. Skilfish (Erilepis zonifer). (Illustration by Gillian Harris)

1. Tidepool sculpin {Oligocottus maculosus); 2. Soft sculpin {Psychrolutes sigalutes); S. Rockhead {Bothragonus swani); 4. Cabezon {Scor-paenichthys marmoratus); 5. Grunt sculpin {Rhamphocottus richardsoni); 6. Sailfin sculpin {Nautichthys oculofasciatus). {Illustration by Gillian

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