|Sparus aurata - Distribution map|
The gilt-head (sea) bream (Sparus aurata) is a fish of the bream family Sparidae found in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern coastal regions of the North Atlantic Ocean. It commonly reaches about 35 centimetres (1.15 ft) in length, but may reach 70 centimetres (2.3 ft) and weigh up to about 17 kilograms (37 lb).
The gilt-head bream is generally considered the best-tasting of the breams. It is the single species of the genus Sparus – the Latin name for this fish – which has given the whole family of Sparidae its name. The second part of the binomial name, aurata, derives from the gold bar marking between its eyes.
It is typically found at depths of 0–30 metres (0–98 ft), but may occur up to 150 metres (490 ft)., seen singly or in small groups near seagrass or over sandy bottoms, but sometimes in estuaries during the spring.
Fisheries and aquaculture
Gilthead seabream is an esteemed food fish, but catches of wild fish have been relatively modest, between 6,100 and 9,600 tonnes in 2000–2009, primarily from the Mediterranean. In addition, gilthead seabream have traditionally been cultured extensively in coastal lagoons and saltwater ponds. However, intensive rearing systems were developed during the 1980s, and gilthead seabream has become an important aquaculture species, primarily in the Mediterranean area. Reported production was negligible until late 1980s, but reached 140,000 tonnes in 2010, thus dwarfing the capture fisheries production.
The fish is widely used in Mediterranean cooking, under a variety of names:
- In Germany the fish is called Goldbrasse or Dorade.
- In Portugal and Galicia the fish is referred to as Orata or Dourada (golden in Portuguese and Galician; a name also used for other species, e.g. Brachyplatystoma rousseauxii), and is widely available as a fresh fish meal in local restaurants in the Algarve and along coastal Portugal.
- In Spain it is called the dorada. It is also highly prized and is both commercially fished and raised in fish farms. In Catalonia the fish is referred to as orada or daurada.
- In France it is called daurade or dorade.
- In Italy, the fish is called orata (meaning golden)
- In Croatia it is called ovrata, orada, lovrata or komarča.
- Ιn Turkey the fish is referred to as çipura or çupra.
- In Greece and Cyprus it is called tsipoúra (τσιπούρα).
- In Malta it is called awrata.
- In Albania it is called koce.
- In Israel it is known as chipura or denisse.
- In Serbia it is orada.
- In Egypt it is called denees.
- In Romania it is called doradǎ.
- In Bulgaria it is called tsipúra,'(ципура)'.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2010). "Sparus aurata" in FishBase. October 2010 version.
- sparus. Charlton T. Lewis; Charles Short. A Latin Dictionary. Perseus Project.
- FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) (2011). Yearbook of fishery and aquaculture statistics 2009. Capture production. Rome: FAO. p. 163.
- "Sparus aurata (Linnaeus, 1758)". Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
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