Anchovy

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This article is about the fish. For use in food, see Anchovy (food). For the town in Jamaica, see Anchovy, Jamaica.
Anchovies
Anchovy closeup.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Engraulidae
Genera
See text
Time series for global capture of all anchovy 2.png
Global commercial capture of anchovy in million tonnes 1950–2010[1]

An anchovy is a small, common salt-water forage fish of the family Engraulidae. The 144 species are placed in 17 genera; they are found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, and in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Anchovies are usually classified as oily fish.[2]

Genera[edit]

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.
Jurengraulis 1 Lycengraulis 4
Lycothrissa 1 Papuengraulis 1
Pseudosetipinna 1 Pterengraulis 1
Setipinna 8 Stolephorus 20
Thryssa 24

Characteristics[edit]

European anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus

Anchovies are small, green fish with blue reflections due to a silver-colored longitudinal stripe that runs from the base of the caudal fin. They range from 2 to 40 cm (0.79 to 15.75 in) in adult length,[3] and their body shapes are 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 which anchovies closely resemble in other respects. The anchovy eats plankton and recently hatched fish.

Distribution[edit]

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] Aegean Sea 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 km (62 mi) from the shore, near the surface of the water.

Ecology[edit]

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[edit]

This article is
one of a series on
Commercial fish
Blue walleye.jpg
Large pelagic
billfish, bonito
mackerel, salmon
shark, tuna

Forage
anchovy, herring
menhaden, sardine
shad, sprat

Demersal
cod, eel, flatfish
pollock, ray
Mixed
carp, tilapia
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] LC IUCN 3 1.svg Least concern[16]
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] LC IUCN 3 1.svg Least concern[23]
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[edit]

Global capture of anchovy in tonnes reported by the FAO

↑  Peruvian anchoveta 1950–2010 [1]
↑  Other anchovy 1950–2010 [1]
Capture of all anchovy reported by the FAO (green indicates Peruvian anchoveta) [1]

Black Sea[edit]

The Turkish commercial fishing fleet catches around 300 thousand tons per year on average, mainly in winter. The largest catch is in November and December.[27]

As food[edit]

Main article: Anchovy (food)
Still Life with Anchovies, 1972, Antonio Sicurezza

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.[28] 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.[29] In Sweden and Finland, the name anchovies is related strongly to a traditional seasoning, hence the product "anchovies" is normally made of sprats[30] and herring can be sold as "anchovy-spiced". Fish from the Engraulidae family are instead known as sardell in Sweden and sardelli in Finland, leading to confusion when translating recipes.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Based on data sourced from the relevant FAO Species Fact Sheets
  2. ^ "What's an oily fish?". Food Standards Agency. 2004-06-24. 
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2008). "Engraulidae" in FishBase. December 2008 version.
  4. ^ Nelson, Gareth (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  5. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Alboran Sea. eds. P.Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
  6. ^ Anderson, Daniel W.; Gress, Franklin; Mais, Kenneth F.; Kelly, Paul R. (1980). North, Nance, ed. "Brown pelicans as anchovy stock indicators and their relationships to commercial fishing" (PDF). CalCOFIs Reports (California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations) 21: 55. Retrieved 17 February 2014. "Pelican reproductive rate ... depends largely on levels of anchovy abundance and availability." 
  7. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Engraulis encrasicolus" in FishBase. April 2012 version.
  8. ^ Engraulis encrasicolus (Linnaeus, 1758) FAO, Species Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 2012.
  9. ^ "Engraulis encrasicolus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved April 2012. 
  10. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Engraulis anchoita" in FishBase. April 2012 version.
  11. ^ Engraulis anchoita (Hubbs & Marini, 1935) FAO, Species Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 2012.
  12. ^ "Engraulis anchoita". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved April 2012. 
  13. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Engraulis mordax" in FishBase. April 2012 version.
  14. ^ Engraulis mordax (Girard, 1856) FAO, Species Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 2012.
  15. ^ "Engraulis mordax". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved April 2012. 
  16. ^ Iwamoto T, Eschmeyer W and Alvarado J (2010). "Engraulis mordax". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Engraulis japonicus" in FishBase. April 2012 version.
  18. ^ Engraulis japonicus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1846) FAO, Species Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 2012.
  19. ^ ITIS
  20. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Engraulis ringens" in FishBase. April 2012 version.
  21. ^ Engraulis ringens (Jenyns, 1842) FAO, Species Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 2012.
  22. ^ "Engraulis ringens". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved April 2012. 
  23. ^ Iwamoto T, Eschmeyer W and Alvarado J (2010). "Engraulis ringens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  24. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Engraulis capensis" in FishBase. April 2012 version.
  25. ^ Engraulis capensis (Gilchrist, 1913) FAO, Species Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 2012.
  26. ^ "Engraulis capensis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved April 2012. 
  27. ^ "Turkish Black Sea Acoustic Surveys: Winter distribution of anchovy along the Turkish coast". Middle East Technical University Institute of Marine Sciences. 
  28. ^ Tacitus: Germania
  29. ^ White Anchovy Fillets
  30. ^ Food: First catch your anchovies

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.