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Anchovies

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Anchovies

This article is about the fish. For use in food, see Anchovy (food). For the town in Jamaica, see Anchovy, Jamaica.
Anchovies
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Engraulidae
Genera
See text
Global commercial capture of anchovy in million tonnes 1950–2010[1]

Anchovies are a family (Engraulidae) of small, common salt-water forage fish. There are 144 species in 17 genera, found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Anchovies are usually classified as an oily fish.[2]

Genera

Genera in the family Engraulidae
Genera Species Comment Genera Species Comment
Amazonsprattus 1 Anchoa 35
Anchovia 3 Anchoviella 4
Cetengraulis 2 Coilia 13
Encrasicholina 5 Engraulis 9 Type genus for anchovy. This genus contains all the commercially significant anchovy (see below)
Jurengraulis 1 Lycengraulis 4
Lycothrissa 1 Papuengraulis 1
Pseudosetipinna 1 Pterengraulis 1
Setipinna 8 Stolephorus 20
Thryssa 24

Characteristics


Anchovies are small, green fish with blue reflections due to a silver longitudinal stripe that runs from the base of the caudal fin. They range from 2 centimetres (0.79 in) to 40 centimetres (16 in) in adult length,[3] and the body shape is variable with more slender fish in northern populations.

The snout is blunt with tiny, sharp teeth in both jaws. The snout contains a unique rostral organ, believed to be sensory in nature, although its exact function is unknown.[4] The mouth is larger than that of herrings and silversides, two fish anchovies closely resemble in other respects. The anchovy eats plankton and fry (recently-hatched fish).

Distribution

Anchovies are found in scattered areas throughout the world's oceans, but are concentrated in temperate waters, and are rare or absent in very cold or very warm seas. They are generally very accepting of a wide range of temperatures and salinity. Large schools can be found in shallow, brackish areas with muddy bottoms, as in estuaries and bays. They are abundant in the Mediterranean, particularly in the Alboran Sea,[5] and the Black Sea. The species is regularly caught along the coasts of Crete, Greece, Sicily, Italy, France, Turkey, and Spain. They are also found on the coast of northern Africa. The range of the species also extends along the Atlantic coast of Europe to the south of Norway. Spawning occurs between October and March, but not in water colder than 12 °C (54 °F). The anchovy appears to spawn at least 100 kilometers (62 mi) from the shore, near the surface of the water.

Ecology

The anchovy is a significant food source for almost every predatory fish in its environment, including the California halibut, rock fish, yellowtail, shark, chinook, and coho salmon. It is also extremely important to marine mammals and birds; for example, breeding success of California brown pelicans[6] and elegant terns is strongly connected to anchovy abundance.

Commercial species

Template:Common fish

Commercially significant species
Common name Scientific name Maximum
length
Common
length
Maximum
weight
Maximum
age
Trophic
level
Fish
Base
FAO ITIS IUCN status
European anchovy* Engraulis encrasicolus (Linnaeus, 1758) 20.0 cm (7.9 in) 13.5 cm (5.3 in) kg 3 years 3.11 [7] [8] [9] Not assessed
Argentine anchoita Engraulis anchoita (Hubbs & Marini, 1935) 17.0 cm (6.7 in) cm 0.025 kg (0.88 oz) years 2.51 [10] [11] [12] Not assessed
Californian anchovy Engraulis mordax (Girard, 1856) 24.8 cm (9.8 in) 15.0 cm (5.9 in) 0.068 kg (2.4 oz) years 2.96 [13] [14] [15]
Japanese anchovy Engraulis japonicus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1846) 18.0 cm (7.1 in) 14.0 cm (5.5 in) 0.045 kg (1.6 oz) 4 years 2.60 [17] [18] [19] Not assessed
Peruvian anchoveta Engraulis ringens (Jenyns, 1842) 20.0 cm (7.9 in) 14.0 cm (5.5 in) kg 3 years 2.70 [20] [21] [22]
Southern African anchovy Engraulis capensis (Gilchrist, 1913) 17.0 cm (6.7 in) cm kg years 2.80 [24] [25] [26] Not assessed

* Type species

Fisheries

Global capture of anchovy in tonnes reported by the FAO

↑  Peruvian anchoveta 1950–2010 [1]
↑  Other anchovy 1950–2010 [1]


As food

Main article: Anchovy (food)

A traditional method of processing and preserving anchovies is to gut and salt them in brine, allow them to mature, and then pack them in oil or salt. This results in a characteristic strong flavor and the flesh turns deep grey. Pickled in vinegar, as with Spanish boquerones, anchovies are milder and the flesh retains a white color. In Roman times, anchovies were the base for the fermented fish sauce garum. Garum had a sufficiently long shelf life for long-distance commerce, and was produced in industrial quantities. Anchovies were also eaten raw as an aphrodisiac.[27] Today they are used in small quantities to flavor many dishes. Because of the strong flavor, they are also an ingredient in several sauces and condiments, including Worcestershire sauce, Caesar salad dressing, remoulade, Gentleman's Relish, many fish sauces, and in some versions of Café de Paris butter. For domestic use, anchovy fillets are packed in oil or salt in small tins or jars, sometimes rolled around capers. Anchovy paste is also available. Fishermen also use anchovies as bait for larger fish, such as tuna and sea bass.

The strong taste people associate with anchovies is due to the curing process. Fresh anchovies, known in Italy as alici, have a much milder flavor.[28] In Sweden and Finland, the name anchovies is related strongly to a traditional seasoning, hence the product "anchovies" is normally made of sprats[29] and also herring can be sold as "anchovy-spiced". Fish from the Engraulidae family is instead known as "sardell" in Sweden and "sardelli" in Finland, leading to confusion when translating recipes.

See also

Notes

References

  • Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). FishBase. January 2006 version.
  • PSMFC.org
  • Francisco P, Chavez FP, Ryan J, Lluch-Cota SE and Ñiquen C M (2003) Science 229(5604)217–221.
  • Miller DJ (1956) "Anchovy" CalCOFI Reports, 5: 20–26.
  • Nizinski MS and Munroe TA (1988) FAO species catalogue, volume 2: Clupeoid Fishes of the World, Engraulidae, Anchovies Pages 764–780, FAO Fisheries Synopsis 125, Rome. ISBN 92-5-102340-9.

External links

  • National Geographic News (2003).

Template:1911

Template:Anchovies

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