If you dive in the North Atlantic ocean you have probably met the Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumps). This funny looking fish is often trying to chase divers away from their precious inheritors.

In spring they lay their eggs in shallow waters and guard them for two months. The male is the responsible parent. He takes care of the little ones.

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The eggs are often attached to stones and often more than one female put their eggs together. Up to 300 000 eggs can be laid at the same spot. The male will look after them all. During the two month periode, the male will not feed.

During the first two years the youngsters will live close to land, but adults will move deeper and live at about 50 – 150 meters.

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Lumpfish baby on its own.

It is fished mostly for its roe and you can find it sold as very nice caviar. The Lumpfish is also very often used as cleaner fish in aquaculture. The use of cleaner fish instead of chemical solutions to remove salmon louse (Gyrodactylus salaris) in the Norwegian aquaculture has exploded the recent years. Ten years ago, 700 000 cleaner fish were used. Today it is 26,5 million and the lumpsucker is one of the most important ones as it is efficient throughout the year. The cleaner wrasses are only efficient in high temperatures.

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Lumpfish protecting its egg against some intrusive UW-photograpers from Wedive.no…..

The scientists are now discovering that the cleaner fish is developing diseases. The longterm impact on cleaner fish is not sufficiently documented. Any increase in use of cleaner fish is recommended to come from farmed fish, as the large number may affect local populations.