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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Blackfish

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BLACKFISH, any one of a variety of dark-colored fishes, both of America and Europe. For the American “blackfish,” see Tautog, Seabass and Minnow. The English “blackfish” is a kind of mackerel (Centrolophus niger), about two feet long. It occurs rather abundantly off the south coast of Europe, and is much esteemed as a food fish.

The name is also given to a small “killer” whale of the genus Globicephalus, which goes about in shoals that often enter harbors. They are sought by fishermen for the sake of a small amount of oil, resembling sperm-oil, to be obtained from their fat, and also for the sake of their beef-like flesh. The common blackfish of the Atlantic is G. brachypterus, and that of the north Pacific G. scammoni, Sailors give the name “blackfish” to the “caaing,” or “pilot” whale, and to the various other small cetaceans. Consult Bullen, ‘Cruise of the Cachalot’; Scammon, ‘Marine Mammals of North America.’