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Eelpouts — Zoarcidae

Eelpouts occupy a diversity of habitats in the Arctic, Antarctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans, but are not fished commercially. In the Arctic, where exploration has been minimal, new species are still being found. Members of this family are generally found in cold, deepwater habitats where they live on the ocean floor. They have long slender bodies, long heads, and pointed tails. Their long dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are all continuous; their pectoral fins are fairly large and well developed. Although their colouring is variable, eelpouts usually have dark or light bands or blotches. Their diet consists of other bottom dwelling organisms. One eelpout has a distribution that is marginally Arctic: the checker eelpout, Lycodes vahli, occurs in the Atlantic Ocean, north to the edge of Davis Strait.

Eighteen species of eelpouts occur in Arctic Canada: