Blackfish, a name improperly given by sea-men to several species of small whales, especially to the round-headed dolphin (globiceph-alus. Less.), (see Dolphin), and also in New England to a marine species of fish of the family labridae, the tautog (tautoga Americana, De Kay). The latter abounds on the coast of New England, on both sides of Long Island, and off Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Originally they were not found north of Cape Cod; but between 1820 and 1830 a number of them were brought alive in boats to Massachusetts Bay, and being set free have spread all along the eastern coast of the continent. Its back and sides are black; the lips, lower jaw, and belly, in the males particularly, are white. The tail-is entire, somewhat convex,, the middle rays being somewhat longer than the external ones.

The body is covered with small, hard scales. They vary in size from 2 to 14 or 16 lbs. They are caught early in the spring, and through the summer, from off the rocky ledges of the const, or from boats anchored over the reefs. The fishing for them is a favorite sport in the warm summer weather, and the fish, though of dry flavor, are much esteemed when baked.

Black fish (Tautoga Americana).

Black fish (Tautoga Americana).