Fun Meagre Fish Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
May 16, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Ambuj Tripathi
Meagre fish facts about a fish commonly found in the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and the Red Sea.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 11.0 Min

When you hear Jewfish, Meagre, Stone Bass, Sowa, Kir, Croaker, or Corvina, what first comes to your mind when you hear these names? What are these?

These names are nothing but the other names of an Argyrosomus regius fish that belongs to the family Sciaenidae. These fishes are mainly found in the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Red Sea, and Étang de Thau.

The Meagre fish history in aquaculture is not very old, and it has recently been developed in the '90s and mid-'90s. First, aquaculture was done in southern France with few fish species like seabass, turbot, or seabream. In 1990, this was only limited to southern France.

Slowly in the mid-'90s, this production started gaining popularity in the nearby regions, mainly Tyrrhenian Italy and Corsica. However, the rearing knowledge about this fish in the general public is still unknown. In 2002, Italy's first commercial production was first registered to FAO.

These are some interesting facts about Meagre fish, and you can learn more about the farming of Meagre fish right here. If you would like to know about other fish species, why not look at other articles on neon tetra and Congo tetra?

Meagre Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Meagre fish?

The Meager fish, scientifically known as Argyrosomus regius, belongs to the Sciaenidae family. The Meagre fish is mainly found in a pearly silver color with a yellow mouth, similar to European seabass.

Meagre is one of the tastiest among all the fishes. The texture is loved by regular fish lovers and by non-fish lovers. It melts when put in the mouth.

What class of animal does a Meagre fish belong to?

The Meagre fish species scientifically known as Argyrosomus regius belong to the Animalia kingdom from the Sciaenidae family.

How many Meagre fish are there in the world?

The Meagre marine fishes are widespread all over the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The total population is not mentioned in any research papers. The Meagre fisheries market is now expanding slowly, mainly in Italy and France.

However, the farming of this fish species is relatively low. At the end of the 1990s, Italy supplied 20,000 tonnes of these species. However, Meagre fish are still made and marketed for a unique set of needs and preferences, but their potentials are still not exhausted.

Where does a Meagre live?

Argyrosomus regius are marine fish found in the Atlantic, including the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. It is rarely found in the southeastern region. It has been found in some parts of Ireland and the North Sea, and the Gulf of Guinea. Some of the giant Meagre fishes are found along the coast of West Africa.

What is a Meagre fish's habitat?

The Argyrosomus regius is a marine species found offshore and inshore of the water. The Meagre fish species prefer to swim in the shallower regions about 49-66 ft (15-20 m) above sea level.

However, these species are found at a depth of 656-984 ft (200-300 m). It can live at the bottom, at the water's surface, and in the mid-water. These adult Meagres prefer coastal lagoons and firth.

The Argyrosomus regius can travel from place to place due to climatic changes. The fisheries can be found in Mauritania, Morocco, and Egypt.

Other than spawning, this species likes to live in smaller groups. Some Meagre fishes are found around wrecked ships sunk to create habitats.

Meagre can live at a temperature of between 17-23°C; they become lethargic and stop eating if the temperature increases or reduces this level. These species prefer cold water to maintain body function, higher metabolic rate, and allowing them to be more active.

This Meagre fishes are not very demanding though they have a high market value because being a predatory fish requires protein-rich feed.

Italy and Southern France are its main markets. This Meagre fish is highly accepted by Japanese cuisine.

Who do Meagre fish live with?

The Meagre species are oceanodromous fish that are found offshore and inshore. They love to live in the deep ocean with their species.

However, Meagre fish is gaining popularity day by day due to its taste and nutrients. This fish is highly known for its consumption. Producers are trying to expand the market to another part of the world through aquaculture farming.

Aquaculture farming is done both in sea cages or in land-based tanks. However, Meagre aquaculture production has some adverse effects on the environment, such as disease transfer and potential pollution.

How long does a Meagre fish live?

The male Meagre fish can live up to a maximum age of 15, and the females live up to 20 years. However, when produced in land-based tanks or sea cages, the survival rate of the fingerlings is 80% due to the temperature of the water.

How do they reproduce?

Spring is the best time when these Meagre Argyrosomus regius fishes gather and swim together to shallow marine bays for spawning during mid-May. Water temperature is an essential factor in the reproduction phase of Meagre fish.

The spawning season starts from April to July. During spawning season, the male Meagre fish sound produced is unique, making a deep sound by pushing their abdominal muscles against the gas bladder to attract the female fish.

After mating, the Meagre fish becomes pregnant. The Meagre matures at the age of two to three years old.

They have a high fertility rate.

When the adults arrive and the juveniles leave from estuaries is between May - October, when the water temperature is 55.4-57.2 F (13-14 C). The spawning occurs between 62.6-71.6 F (17-22 C) water temperature when the females can produce one million eggs that measure 39 in (990 mm) in size.

During this phase, embryos may die for several reasons. After the four days of hatching, the larvae eat up all the egg yolk during the hatching period, and when they are grown, they feed on active feeding.

When the juveniles eat mysids and shrimp, they feed on pelagic fish and cephalopods when they reach 11.8-15.7 in (30-40 cm). These fishes can grow up to 6.6-7.5 ft (2 -2.3 m) in length and  121-220 lb (55-100 kg) in weight.

What is their conservation status?

At the end of the 1990s, Italy supplied 20,000 tonnes of these species. However, Meagre fish are still made and marketed for a unique set of needs and preferences, but their potentials are still not exhausted. They are, therefore, in the Least Concern category.

Meagre Fish Fun Facts

What do Meagre fish look like?

The Argyrosomus regius species have small eyes with large heads and elongated bodies. The mouth cavity is salmon pink or yellow gold, and the fin bases are reddish-brown. It has two dorsal fins.

The second dorsal fin is longer than the first dorsal fin. They come in silver-gray, and their body is shiny. The looks and the texture of this Meagre fish are the same as the sea bass.

Underwater view of Meagre fish.

How cute are they?

The Meagre species are lovely and cute with small eyes. The mouth cavity is yellow-gold or salmon pink, and the fin bases are reddish-brown. Its body is in a silver-gray color that is shiny. The Argyrosomus regius species have small eyes with large heads and elongated bodies.

How do they communicate?

Just like humans, even animals, fishes, and insects communicate. The fishes communicate using sound, smell, coloration, motion, bio-luminescence, and electric impulses—the male Meagre fish grunts by pushing its abdominal muscles against the gas bladder at spawning.

How big is a Meagre fish?

The Meagre fish size is between 16-20 in (40-50 cm), and the big Meagre fish can grow up to 6.6 ft (2 m). The Meagre fish usually grows in summer. The bigger fishes are found on the coast of West Africa.

How fast can a Meagre fish swim?

This Meagre Argyrosomus regius species do not swim very fast and can be captured quickly and easily.

How much does a Meagre fish weigh?

The adult Meagre Argyrosomus regius fish can weigh up to  121-220 lb (55-100 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male species is known as male Meagre fish, and the female species is known as female Meagre fish.

What would you call a baby Meagre fish?

The juvenile fish goes through various stages. The first stage is called an egg when hatched, called larvae.

The larvae cannot feed themselves, so they feed on the yolk sac, and when they grow and can feed themselves, they are known as fry. When they are a little more grown they develop scales and working fins; this stage is known as fingerling.

The juvenile stage is only until the fish grows and reaches maturity age and interacts with other adult fishes.

What do they eat?

The Meagre are carnivorous and predatory fish that can eat anything they can digest. The juveniles of Argyrosomus regius eat crustaceans that are found nearby such as a crab, lobster, shrimp, or barnacles or pelagic fish that are found in the pelagic zone, cephalopods such as an octopus or squid.

Are they eaten by humans?

Yes, they are very much liked and eaten by humans. These fishes are known for striking, liveliness, exciting, and attractive features. They are also famous for their taste and nutrients, which are best for frying, baking, and grilling.

It has a strong aroma that is just mouth-watering and can make your stomach rumble. Due to the fat content in its body, it does not spoil easily and quickly. As the Meagre fish taste is delicious, you can find this fish cuisine in some fine restaurants in European countries.

You might be surprised to know that the Meagre fish goes very well with a buttery sauce, garlic, and tarragon or fried with chilies or roasted. There are many ways to cook Meagre fish, and chicken stock is a super base for cooking Meagre.

The easiest way to cook Meagre fish is to steam the fish and then cook it.

You may also try a few easy and quick recipes of Meagre fish like- Meagre al Cartoccio, with roasted fennel potatoes, Meagre with sweet potato and kale, or Asian Style Meagre with pak choi and Chinese cabbage. Cook as you like, but we are sure it will not disappoint you in its taste.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, the Meagre fish would make a great pet while they are small in size; once they grow up, they Meagre fish can grow up to two meters long and weigh up to 50-100 kg. Hence, it is suggested to put them back in big ponds or sea when grow up.

The Meagre likes to be close to the bottom of the sea. However, it would love to live in the sea as it belongs to the Mediterranean and east coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Did you know...

In 2015, this species was awarded a 'Superior Taste Award' by the renowned International Taste & Quality Institute in Brussels.

Nowadays, the Meagre fishes can be farmed and supplied by aquaculture and capture fisheries. Currently, aquaculture is a vital source of fresh, nutritious, safe, and sustainable seafood exported worldwide.

People are less aware of the Meagre farming culture than other farmed fish species such as turbot, sea bream, or seabass as it has been developed recently. The production started in France and Italy in the late 1990s and later spread to other parts of Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Malta, Greece, and Portugal.

The seeds are still being supplied only in the south of France.

The Argyrosomus regius farm is still very new and requires high-production techniques, sea cages, or land-based tanks. Let us look at the two different techniques used for this aquaculture.

Land or tank-based farming is one method. Inland or tank-based farms of these species, the tanks used are either circular or rectangular, with 100 g fish.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the water volume should be 500 m³ and the depth should be 1 m, and the tanks should be covered to avoid skin abrasions. In tank-based farms, the fish are fed two to three times meals per day.

And the other method is the sea cages method. In this method, the fish are farmed in the sea using circular or rectangular cages.

Few producers have also used submerged cages, which are also popular nowadays. The cage volume should be between 500-1000 m³, and these cages are submerged at a depth of 10-20 m. In sea-based farms, the fishes are feeding per day is common. The feeding process used for Meagre fish Mediterranean species is the same as other marine species.

In the year 2007, the annual production was a hundred tonnes. In 2008, the production rose by 4,000 tons per year. In 2010 it reached up to 15,000 tons.

For high-quality aquaculture production, there is a classic feeding scheme. In rearing techniques, spawning can be obtained spontaneously throughout the year by controlling the temperature. Producers use GnRH-type hormone sounds for spawning.

It is essential to follow specific primary hygiene rules in this Meagre aquaculture as this farming has some adverse effects on the environment, such as disease transfer and potential pollution. Hence, Meagre cultivation mainly depends on water quality.

What is another name for a Meagre fish?

The Meagre, Croaker, Jewfish, Shade-fish, Sowa, Kir, Corvina, Salmon-bass, or Stone bass are some other names of Argyrosomus regius fish that belong to the family Sciaenidae. 

What sound does Meagre fish make?

The Meagre fish can make a drumming sound with their muscles by beating the air chambers inside its body and making sounds like a frog. The noise is so sharp that it can be heard up to 30 m away. The other sound that the male Meagre fish grunt at the spawning time is used for acoustic communication.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including white cloud mountain minnows, or yellow bass.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Meagre fish coloring pages.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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Fact-checked by Ambuj Tripathi

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ambuj Tripathi picture

Ambuj TripathiBachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ambuj is a skilled fact checker with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University. He has been recognized for his exceptional content writing skills, having won a CineMedia competition. In addition to his writing abilities, he also has a flair for design.

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