Anchovy Fish

Anchovy Fish

Anchovy Fish

Anchovy Fish is a species of small fish that lives in some areas near shores & in shallow parts, mostly, this type of fish has many fans due to high nutritional properties.  Major areas fishing these small fishes in Hormozgan are Parsian, Bandar-e-Jask, Bandar Abbas, Bandar Lengeh and Qeshm. Should be mentioned, in Mediterranean coast, the anchovy fish can also be fished by hand, this fish being called Anchova in France and Anchovy in England.  It can be used as salted fish, as it has a high saltiness and pungent odor, so it can be used as a spice and seasoning in different types of fish sauce or on salad& etc.

 General specifications of family Engraulidae

  • Anchovies are order member ofa Clupeiformes family.
  • Literal root of Anchovies is Greek, this name derived from Eggraulis.
  • English people called it the Anchovies or thryssas.

Properties of Biological – Fisheries for Anchovies

They have Regularly dispersed in Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

They have 17 genera and 150 species worldwide.

They have a group life.

Mostly, they live in shallow waters, finally 10 meters, near beaches and firth in tropical areas.

Some species of them can live in freshwater.

Their physical characteristics are lower mouth, upper jaw, and long bony bone.

Should be mentioned, the jaw teeth of anchovies are very advanced if they exist or may not exist at all.

There are 10 to 50 gill spines in lower part of their first gill arch.

The number of gill arches in anchovies varies from 7 to 19.

In anchovies there are Silver stripes appear on their flanks, and they lack a lateral line on their bodies.

In ancient, there is a flat plate in abdominal area of anchovies’ species, but, mostly, there are not in species of new age.

They have a clear body.

Their fins have no hard radius.

The dorsal fins of these fishes are solitary and their tail fins are Caudal fin.

Their bodies have circular scales that are loose.

Anchovies feed throughout day, they are often filters, so they eat plankton, and very few of them eat fishes.

Among different species of anchovies, maximum length is 50 cm, mostly, their length is below 15 cm.

Their uses as follows: These fish are used in human foods in form of dried and salted.

They are used as flours and powders for feeding fish, and are also used for fisherman prey during fishing.

They can be fished with a variety of tours including Gill net, Lead net, Purse Seine Fishing, Fyke net and Beach Seine nets.

Earliest fossils discovered from anchovies indicate Tertiary period.

At present, Engraulididae is a name given to anchovies’ family.

Anchovies Distribution in Iran

In Iranian inland waters, Persian Gulf and Oman Sea, four anchovies’ species have been observed and reported.  These 4 genera are as follows:

  • Thryssa anchovies
  • Lycengraulis
  • Encrasicholina
  • Thryssa


How to fishing Anchovies

Anchovy Fish is fishing in autumn in traditional way of purse seine with two boats from sea, in which two boats work side by side. For more information about how to fishing this fish as follow.

  • Specifications
  • Net length
  • Net height
  • Size of fountain at net fin
  • Size of fountain in net beach seine


Method of drying Anchovy Fish for Consumption

Due to inaccessibility to facilities and lack of technology in this field in past, fishermen kept it dry to prevent it from being spoiled and stored for good time to consume it.  At present, Anchovy Fish can be dried in both traditional and industrial ways. In traditional way, the fishermen, especially in Persian Gulf, have accumulated tangled fish after fishing them, where fishes dry for a specified time with direct sunlight. Should be mentioned, coastalists in Persian Gulf only fishing it in fall in order to prevent extinction of this species.  This is because Anchovy Fish are main feed of most other fish, and their deficiency leads to extinction of other fish.  Due to this issue, Anchovy Fish fishing decreases every year.

Methods of Consuming Anchovy Fish

Mostly, Anchovy Fish are used for edible uses.  In livestock industry due to high nutritional value and protein of this fish, it is used as animal feed, birds (poultry) feed and producing agricultural fertilizers.  Should be mentioned, Anchovy Fish oil is used to make cosmetics.  It is exported in form of dried and chips to countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Oman and Kuwait, so it has an effective role in country’s economy.

Purchasing dried fish and fish meal

Iran-Matou Company, Anchovy Fish Processing Center, one of largest independent manufacturers in field of Dried fish in Qeshm Island, has always strived to create technology and its specialized activity in field of producing Anchovy Fish with varying degrees of quality to surpass its other competitors, as well, it actives as a source to meet needs of its customers.

Since the Iran-Matou brand has a communication system that directly connects producer to consumer, this eliminates the speculators’ market and also reduces purchase price for dried fish consumers. Due to that major consumers of Anchovy Fish, food industry manufacturers, shrimp farms, livestock and poultry use them as raw materials for their food production, they are effective in reducing final price of their finished products & will lead to greater customer satisfaction.