Varieties And Characteristics

Hundreds of varieties of fish are eaten around the world. However, relatively few species account for the majority of the fish used in food service in the United States and Canada. Below are the most common varieties that are used fresh. Some are illustrated in the following photographs.

There is a significant difference in flavor between freshwater fish and saltwater fish, because saltwater fish, as might be expected, have more salt in their flesh.The following survey of fish varieties divides them into these two basic categories. However, some fish may spend part of their lives in the ocean and part in fresh water. Salmon,for example,lives in the ocean but migrates up rivers to lay eggs or spawn. Fish that live in salt water but spawn in fresh water are called anadromous. Shad and arctic char are two other examples of anadromous fish. On the other hand, fish that live in fresh water but swim downstream to spawn in the ocean are called catadromous. Eel is a catadromous fish.

In the following listing, fish are categorized by where they spend most of their adult lives.Thus, anadromous fish such as salmon are listed with saltwater fish, while the catadromous fish such as eel are listed with freshwater fish.

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