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Fish #53 European SpratSprattus sprattus ~ Howard Yeomans
Ink and card collage 30 x 28 cm
Sprattus is a genus of small oily fish of the family Clupeidae, which also includes herrings and pilchards. There are five species in the genus, all of which have a similar innocuous silvery appearance. Well-known for being a bit on the small size, the sprat grows up to about 15 cm / 6" in length, making it ideal for packing in food tins and just the right size for a snack, perhaps on toast. Widely consumed across northern Europe, the European sprat - also known as bristling, brisling or skipper in its younger days - is indeed an important food source for some.
Living in cooler waters, the sprat thrives around Great Britain, Scandinavia and in the Baltic sea, where it is to be found in large shoals, making them an easy catch once located. Sprat feed on tiny fish larvae and plankton and are themselves a major part of the marine food chain, given they are eaten by virtually all predatory fish. The sprat is also an important source of food for marine birds such as gannets and herring gulls.
My mother was a Sprat,
My dad was one anawl.
I took both their names
To keep me individual.
I mostly spend my days
Going with the crowd.
Been a long while driftin'.
We're looking like a cloud.
Soon a ship will come along.
All futures marked by fate.
Net, freezer, factory door,
Tomato sauce, Great White plate.
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