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Fish #51 European Anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus ~ Mark Loosemore
Commonly this fish attains a length of little more than 14 centimetres. It is mainly a coastal marine species, forming large schools.
The reaction of anchovies to predators is intense. A school that may be spread over several hundred metres contracts at the approach of a predator to a moving, writhing sphere of thousands of fishes only a few metres across. In such a situation the predator cannot concentrate on a single individual and may be frustrated in its attempt to catch any fish.
Anchovies tend to move further north and into surface waters in summer, retreating and descending in winter. Those unfortunate not to retreat quickly enough and caught by fishing fleets are likely to be marketed fresh, dried, smoked, canned, frozen or made into fish meal.
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