Engraulidae - anchovies

Anchovies are small pelagic schooling fishes. They can usually be distinguished by their protruding snout, translucent bodies and silvery longitudinal stripe along the body. Body shape is elongate and oval (fusiform) with some species strongly laterally compressed. Most are marine species but some can tolerate freshwater and may migrate up rivers. Because they can school in large numbers, some species are valuable as a commercial fishery. The species in the Gulf of Mexico, however, are considered too small or few to be commercially marketed. Anchovies are an important food fish for other species.