Pelagic fish describes a whole family of different species, the distinguishing feature of which is the habitat in the pelagic zone of the ocean – being neither close to the bottom nor too near the shore - rendering it is easier to catch it than bottom-fish or groundfish. However, pelagic fish are not inferior to other more expensive types in USABILITY and taste. Pelagic fish are ALSO known as fat-rich fish.
The leading species among commercial pelagic fish are anchovy (Engraulidae), sea herring (Atlantic and Pacific herring), sprats, Scombridae family (mackerel, tuna), Carangidae family (jack mackerel), capelin, and blue whiting.
Atlantic herring (lat. Clupea harengus) is one of the most common species found on the planet. It lives mainly in the open seas of the North Atlantic and along the coasts of Europe and North America. The source of the main fishery is the herring population in the North and Barents seas.
Fishing is most common in Norway, but also in Faroe Islands, Iceland, Scotland, Canada, Russia and others.
There are four categories of fishing herring:
The Norwegian Spring Spawning herring is considered to be one of the most valuable in terms of price. Herring of a high fat percentage is considered to be the most tasty herring. Over 20% fat is most often too high as the herring becomes too soft.
Herring is eaten fresh, smoked, salted and pickled, and is a source of vitamins A, D and B12, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Herring proteins contain essential amino acids. According to recent studies, the use of herring as food reduces the risk of disease in the heart and blood vessels, due to the increase in the body of high density lipoproteins (the so-called "good cholesterol"). In addition, herring contains antioxidants.
Pacific herring (latin - Clupea pallasii), which is similar to the Atlantic herring species differing only in the number of vertebrae and features of reproduction, is present in Russian waters in three forms:
Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species from the family Scombridae. They are found in both temperate and tropical seas (8-20°C), mostly living along the coast or offshore in the oceanic environment. Mackerel typically have vertical stripes on their backs and deeply forked tails. Many species are restricted in their distribution ranges, and live in separate populations or fish stocks based on geography. Some stocks migrate in large schools along the coast to suitable spawning grounds, where they spawn in fairly shallow waters. After spawning they return the way they came, in smaller schools, to suitable feeding grounds often near an area of upwelling. From there they may move offshore into deeper waters and spend the winter in relative inactivity. Other stocks migrate across oceans.
There are 4 basic types of mackerel:
Atlantic mackerel (latin - Scomber scombrus) - one of the most common species in the North Atlantic waters being found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is extremely common in huge shoals migrating towards the coast to feed on small fish and plankton during the summer. It is rich in fat which varies during the seasons, being highest (around 27%) in August – December. The meat of the mackerel is tender and delicious. Boiling and roasting the fish gives it a rather dry consistency. It is excellent raw material for the production of preserves, cold smoked products and balyk-type canned food.
Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias) ) is found in the Mediterranean Sea, including off the coast of Morocco and Mauritania, and in the Black Sea. The meat is a light cream colour and differs from the Atlantic mackerel in being lean during the winter. The fat content in the meat of mackerel ranges from 3% (February-March) to 15% (August). The main catching season is May to July. There are big possibilities for using this mackerel, mainly for producing canned food and preserves, as well as smoked and dried vyalyat.
The main producers are:
Capelin (latin - Mallotus villosus) is found in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Arctic oceans from the Barents Sea to Iceland and Greenland, and in also off the East (Hudson Bay) and West (Island of Vancouver) coasts of Canada and USA.
Barents Sea capelin migrate during winter and early spring to the coast of northern Norway (Finnmark) and the Kola Peninsula (Russia) for spawning. During summer and autumn capelin migrate north- and north-eastward for feeding. Icelandic capelin move inshore in large schools to spawn and migrate in spring and summer to feed in the plankton-rich oceanic area between Iceland, Greenland, and Jan Mayen. The capelin feed on plankton, and the larger capelin on krill and other crustaceans, in competition with other species, particularly herring.
Selenium in capelin is about 10 times more than in meat. Also it is worthy to note that selenium is very uplifting and supports youth. If you regularly include capelin in the menu, providing the body with the necessary amount of natural iodine, it is possible to reduce the risk of many diseases of the thyroid gland.
For two decades, DEFA company has been a direct supplier of pelagic fish from leading manufacturers of Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, being one of the three largest importers of these types of fish.