Issue 114
September 19, 2021
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Take a well-deserved reprieve from the chaos that has engulfed us and play TQC Trivia! Sea Creatures. Answers are provided below, along with interesting and fun supplemental information.

1) Q: What is the world’s most venomous fish?

A) Puffer
B) Candiru
C) Stonefish
D) Piranha

2) Q: What is the world’s smallest fish?

A) Danio
B) Corfu Dwarf Goby
C) Chili Rasbora
D) Photocorynus Spiniceps (Anglerfish)

3) Q: What is the world’s most commercially harvested fish?

A) Goldfish
B) Alaska Pollock
C) Anchoveta
D) Skipjack Tuna

4) Q: What is the most consumed seafood in America?

A) Salmon
B) Tuna
C) Catfish
D) Shrimp

5) Q: How many commercial fishermen ply their trade in the United States?

A) 4,000
B) 14,000
C) 40,000
D) 400,000

6) Q: What is the world’s deepest dwelling fish?

A) Mariana Snailfish
B) Mullet
C) Giant Squid
D) Sculpin

7) Q: What fish has the shortest lifespan?

A) Common Carp
B) Sign Eviota
C) Turquoise killifish
D) Siamese fighting fish

8) Q: What fish is harvested primarily to produce animal feed?

A) Grouper
B) Mackerel
C) Trout
D) Menhaden

9) Q: What is the most farmed fish in America?

A) Salmon
B) Carp
C) Catfish
D) Tilapia

10) Q: What is the world’s fastest fish?

A) Black Marlin
B) Sailfish
C) Bonefish
D) Swordfish


1) (C) Stonefish. Note: The stonefish is the world’s most venomous fish. Typically found in warm water along coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific oceans, stonefish move slowly and camouflage themselves within their surroundings. Encounters with unlucky swimmers occur when human’s inadvertently step on them, thus becoming victims. If left untreated, the venom from a stonefish can result in death. However, if appropriately prepared, stonefish are edible and considered a delicacy in parts of Asia. Piranhas – made famous by the 1978 movie “Piranha,” - are the most infamous of the world’s poisonous fish but are not the deadliest. In fact, most Piranha’s prefer plants over people; attacks on humans are rare. Pufferfish are referred to as “fugu” in Japan. They are poisonous, but like the stonefish if cooked properly by a trained chef, they are edible.

2) (D) Photocorynus Spiniceps (anglerfish). Note: Male anglerfish grow to just ~6 millimeters long, earning them the distinction of the world’s smallest fish. Females are considerably larger and have been measured up to ~50 millimeters. Chili Rabosa’s have the coolest name on our list. They are native to Indonesia and grow to ~3/4 of an inch long. Known for their vibrant colors, they are mainstays in aquariums throughout the world.

3) (C) Anchoveta. Note: According to the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Anchoveta “anchovies” are the most commercially harvested fish in the world. In 2018, over 7 million tons were caught and processed. Pollock was second (3.4 million tons) and skipjack tuna (3.2 million tons) third. Outside of fraternity houses, goldfish are not commonly harvested nor consumed.

4) (D) Shrimp. Note: Shrimp is the most consumed seafood in the United States. Salmon is the most consumed fish.

5) (C) 40,000. Note: There are ~40,000 commercial fishermen in the United States. Each year, they catch ~10 billion pounds of seafood. The occupation of commercial fisherman is one of the most dangerous jobs in America (and the world). According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Many commercial fishing operations are characterized by hazardous working conditions, strenuous labor, long work hours, and harsh weather.” Between 2000 and 2017, ~800 commercial fishermen died on the job, translating into 114 deaths per 100,000 workers. To put that data into context, the average casualty rate for U.S. employees is 4 per 100,000.

6) (A) Mariana Snailfish. Note: The Mariana Snailfish’s home is 26,000 feet (~5 miles) under the sea, 200 miles off the coast of the Mariana islands, in the Mariana Trench. The snailfish’s body consists of a gooey-like substance. Its unique physical properties allow it to survive crushing pressure - ~2500 times more than Earth’s surface. It has no known natural predators. However, when brought to the surface, the snailfish literally “melts apart,” which makes them difficult to study. Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia, is the world’s deepest (~5,300 feet) lake and home to the sculpin, the deepest living freshwater fish.

7) (B) Sign Eviota. Note: The Sign Eviota (SV) has the unfortunate distinction of having the shortest lifespan of any fish in the world; it lives ~eight weeks. In fact, the SV has the shortest lifespan of any vertebrate. According to Martial Depczynski and David Bellwood, the SV “spends three weeks in the open ocean as a larva. It then settles on a coral reef and matures within one to two weeks. Time spent as an adult is no more than three and a half weeks.” The SV is primarily found near Australia. The Turquoise killifish has a short (a few months) - but equally fascinating - lifespan. According to Nature, “they inhabit transient ponds that fill up during the rainy season in Mozambique and Zimbabwe but dry out for the rest of the year. During the brief wet period, the fish rapidly develop, mate and lay eggs that go into suspended animation during the dry season, to hatch when the rains return the following year.” Siamese fighting fish are territorial, especially in confined spaces like fish tanks. Sometimes they maim and even kill one another. Their normal lifespan is 2 – 5 years in captivity.

8) (D) Menhaden. Note: Fish meal is derived from by-products (or by-catch) that are not fit for human consumption. Meal is cheap and caloric, making it a highly suitable animal feed. (Fatty fish are used to make fish oil.) Most fish meal is used to feed chickens, pigs as well as other farmed fish. Over 50% of fish meal is used to feed other fish. Approximately 6 million tons of fish are harvested each year for the sole purpose of making meal.

9) (C) Catfish. Note: Contrary to popular belief, catfish – not salmon, tilapia, trout, or bass – is the most farmed fish in the United States.

10) (A) Black Marlin. Note: Black Marlin can reach speeds of up to 80 mph in short bursts. Sailfish and Swordfish can cruise at ~70mph. Bonefish, a favorite of fly-fishermen because of its propensity to fight ferociously, clock in around 40mph.