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Anchovies
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Engraulidae
Genera

Amazonsprattus
Anchoa
Anchovia
Anchoviella
Cetengraulis
Coilia
Encrasicholina
Engraulis
Jurengraulis
Lycengraulis
Lycothrissa
Papuengraulis
Pterengraulis
Setipinna
Stolephorus
Thryssa

The anchovies are a family (Engraulidae) of small, common salt-water forage fish. There are about 140 species in 16 genera, found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Anchovies are usually classified as an oily fish.[1]

Contents

Description

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,[2] 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.[3] 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

They 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. Anchovies are abundant in the Mediterranean, and are regularly caught on the coasts of Sicily, Italy, France, 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 (53.6° F). The anchovy appears to spawn at least 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the shore, near the surface of the water.

Predation

The anchovy is a significant food source for almost every predatory fish in its environment, including the California halibut, rock fish, yellowtail, sharks, chinook, and coho salmon. It is also extremely important to marine mammals and birds; for example, breeding success of California brown pelicans and elegant terns is strongly connected to anchovy abundance. As anchovy populations drop, the population of the predatory species is also expected to decline.

Overfishing of anchovies has been a problem. Since the 1980s, large mechanized anchovy fishing vessels based in France have caught the fish in fine-mesh dragnets.

Consumption

Anchovies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Anchovies are also eaten by humans. When preserved by being gutted and salted in brine, matured, then packed in oil or salt, they acquire a characteristic strong flavour. In Roman times, they were the base for the fermented fish sauce called garum that was a staple of cuisine and an item of long-distance commerce produced in industrial quantities, and were also consumed raw as an aphrodisiac.[4] Today they are used in small quantities to flavour many dishes. Because of the strong flavor, they are also an ingredient in several sauces, including Worcestershire sauce, remoulade and 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 that people associate with anchovies is due to the curing process. Fresh anchovies, known in Italy as alici, have a much milder flavor.

The European anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus, is the main commercial anchovy, with Morocco being the largest supplier of canned anchovies. The anchovy industry along the coast of Cantabria, initiated in Cantabria by Sicilian salters in the mid 19th century, now dwarfs the traditional Catalan salters.

Fresh and dried anchovies are a popular part of the cuisine in Kerala and other south Indian states, where they are referred to as "Kozhuva" and provide a cheap source of protein in the diet. Fresh anchovies are eaten fried or as in a spicy curry. In English-speaking countries, alici are sometimes called "white anchovies", and are often served in a weak vinegar marinade, a preservation method associated with the coastal town of Collioure in southeast France. The white fillets (a little like marinated herrings) are sold in heavy salt, or the more popular garlic or tomato oil and vinegar marinade packs.

Workers cleaning dried anchovies at a market in Mae Sot, Thailand

In Southeast Asian countries, dried anchovies are known as "ikan bilis", "setipinna taty", or in Indonesia "ikan teri", with "ikan" being the Malay word for fish, or "dilis" in the Philippines. In Indonesia, Malaysia, and to a certain extent Singapore, anchovies are used to make fish stock, Javanese sambal, or are deep fried. Ikan bilis is normally used in a similar way to dried shrimp in Malaysian cuisine. Anchovy is also used to produce budu, by a fermentation process. In Vietnam, anchovy is the main ingredient in the fish sauce- nước mắm- the unofficial national sauce of Vietnam. In other parts of Asia, such as Korea and Japan, sun-dried anchovies are used to produce a rich soup similar to "setipinna taty". These anchovy stocks are usually used as a base for noodle soups or traditional Korean soups. There are many other variations on how anchovy is used, especially in Korea.

In the United States, anchovies are most commonly known as a pizza topping, as an optional ingredient in Caesar salad, and as a component of Worcestershire Sauce. Anchovy is known as "Hamsi",which was derived from "Hamsin", an Arabic term for winter periods and is eaten between November-March in Turkey. It is generally consumed as fried, grilled, steamed and at form of meatball and also is consumed as Döner, Baklava and Pilav.[5]

Anchovies can concentrate domoic acid, which causes amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans, sea mammals, and birds. If suspected, medical attention should be sought. Anchovies also contain a high level of uric acid, a build-up of which can cause the inflammatory condition known as gout.

Notes

  1. ^ "What's an oily fish?". Food Standards Agency. 2004-06-24. http://www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2004/jun/oilyfishdefinition.  
  2. ^ "Engraulidae". FishBase. Ed. Rainer Froese and Daniel Pauly. December 2008 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2008.
  3. ^ 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.  
  4. ^ Tacitus: Germania
  5. ^ http://www.biriz.biz/rize/hamsi/index.htm

References

External links


This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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1911 encyclopedia

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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Simple English

Anchovies
File:Anchovy
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Engraulidae

The anchovies are a family (Engraulidae) of small but common schooling saltwater plankton-feeding fish. They are found in scattered areas throughout the world's oceans. Anchovies are concentrated in temperate waters, and are rare or absent in very cold or very warm seas.

Contents

Biology

[[File:|thumb|left|Anchovies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.]] The anchovy is a small green fish with blue reflections. These reflections are due to a silver stripe that runs along the length of the fish from the base of the caudal fin. It is maximum nine inches in length and body shape is variable with more slender fish in northern populations. The snout is blunt with small, sharp teeth in both jaws. The mouth is larger than those of herrings and silversides, two fish which they closely resemble. It eats plankton and fish larvae.

The Anchovy can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and salinity. Large schools can be found in shallow, brackish areas with muddy bottoms, as in estuaries and bays.

Spawning occurs between October and March, but not in water colder than 12 °C. The anchovy appears to spawn 100 kilometers from the shore, near the surface of the water.

Habitat

There are many Anchovies in the Mediterranean. They are regularly caught on the coasts of Sicily, Italy, France and Spain. The range of the species also extends along the Atlantic coast of Europe to the south of Norway.

As a food source

The anchovy is a good food source for almost every predatory fish in its environment, including the California halibut, rock fish, yellowtail, sharks, chinook, and coho salmon. It is also extremely important to marine mammals and birds; for example, California brown pelicans and elegant terns. The breeding success of these birds is strongly connected to anchovy abundance. As time progresses and the anchovy population drops, the population of the predatory species are also expected to decline[needs proof].

They are also eaten by humans. Anchovies preserved by being gutted and salted in brine, matured, then packed in oil, are an important food fish, both popular and infamous for their strong flavor. In Roman times, they were the base for the fermented fish sauce called garum that was a staple of cuisine and an item of long-distance commerce produced in industrial quantities. Today they are a key ingredient in Caesar salad and Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, and are often used as a pizza topping. Because of the strong flavour they are also an ingredient in several sauces, including Worcestershire sauce and many fish sauces, and in some versions of Café de Paris butter. They are most commonly marketed in small tins, either as "flat" filets, or as "rolled anchovies" where each fillet is rolled around a caper. Both are quite salty. The flat fillets are usually more salty than the rolled anchovies. They are also marketed in jars and tubes as a paste, mostly for use in making sauces, such as anchovy essence. Fishermen also use anchovies as bait for larger fish such as tuna and sea bass.

The strong taste that people associate with anchovies is due to the curing process. Fresh anchovies, known in Italy as alici, have a much softer and gentler flavor. In English-speaking countries, alici are sometimes called "white anchovies", and are often served in a weak vinegar marinade. This particular preservation method is associated with the coastal town of Collioure in south east France. The white fillets (a little like marinated herrings) are sold in heavy salt, or the more popular garlic or tomato oil and vinegar marinade packs.

The European anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus, is the anchovy of commerce. Morocco now leads the world in canned anchovies. The anchovy industry along the coast of Cantabria now dwarfs the traditional Catalan salters, though the industry was only started in Cantabria by Sicilian salters in the mid 19th century.

Setipinna taty or ikan bilis is the anchovy commonly used in South-East Asian cooking to make fish stock or sambals. Anchovy is also used to produce budu, by fermentation process.

Anchovies can concentrate domoic acid which causes amnesic shellfish poisoning.

Fishing

Overfishing of anchovies has been a problem. Since the 1980s, large mechanized anchovy fishing vessels based in France have caught the fish in fine-mesh dragnets.

Spain beaching incident

On September 29th, 2006, it was reported in the Associated Press that millions of anchovies with a weight of over three tons, had beached themselves in northern Spain, near Colunga, Asturias. Tests on the dead fish did not detect any toxic chemical that could have caused the beaching, and the current working theory is that the school beached itself trying to escape from "hungry dolphins or tuna." If the beached specimens had grown to maturity, it would have been more than "100 tons of potential breeders."

References

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

This article includes text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Please add to the article as needed.


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