The red mullet is a benthic fish living near sandy or rocky bottoms. There are several species of red mullet on the European seafood market :
Sometimes confused with another red mullet, this one can be distinguished from its congener by its two long barbels under its chin. It is called "barbet" because of this characteristic and "red mullet" for the colour of its skin. The red mullet's barbels are a distinctive feature and a remarkable receptor when it’s digging in the mud enabling it to detect the small organisms wich it’s feeding with close to the bottom.
The sole is a flatfish that lives mostly near the seabed, it is a benthic species. It prefers uniform bottoms (fine sand, sandy-muddy or muddy).
The sole feeds preferably at night on small organisms found near the bottom (crustaceans, bivalve molluscs, fish). Resting during the day, it uses camouflage techniques to protect itself, changing its color according to its environment. It can grow up to 70 centimeters long and up to 2 or 3 kilograms.
Legally, the catch size is 24 centimeters, however, it is recommended to fish at 28 centimeters in the North Sea and 30 centimeters (more than 250 grams) in the Bay of Biscay. Below 24 centimeters, the sole is called "solette". Sole has a high market value.
In the natural environment, there are different species of sole: the common sole Solea solea, the Senegal sole Cynoglossus senegalensis, the blonde sole Pegusa lascaris and the partridge sole Microchirus variegatus.
The hake is a fish of the merlucidae family. It is also gadiform (with radiated fins) like cod, whiting and haddock and appreciates cold waters (10°) and depths of up to 1000 metres. This predator is a rather voracious carnivore. its large mouth is equipped with well-developed pointed teeth to be able to catch other fish, crustaceans and molluscs. It tends to live close to the bottom and feed at night. It can be up to 1 meter long and weigh up to 15 kilograms!
The hake of the Bay of Biscay has experienced significant fishing pressure for several years, especially on juveniles. Following more drastic management measures(introduction of fishing quotas) and an improvement in the selectivity of fishing gear, the stock has returned to a satisfactory level. Four European fisheries are currently MSC certified.
These measures are necessary because hake is a species with a fairly long generation time. It reaches sexual maturity at 4 years for males and 7 years for females and can live up to 20 years! To be marketed, hake must measure more than 50 cm.
Salmon are migratory spindle-shaped fish that live between two waters. They are born in rivers (spawning between October and January) and migrate to the sea (March to June).
The young salmon generally stay 2 to 5 years in fresh water so that their physiology can adapt to life in salt water: this is called smoltification. After a few years at sea, the wild salmon return to reproduce and spawn in fresh water, in the river where they were born.
To be put on the market, salmon must be over 50 cm long. In Europe, Atlantic salmon is the most widely consumed and comes from farmed sources.
The John Dory is a flat, oval fish with bronze skin.
Turbot is a flatfish which is considered to be a luxury fish. It's a classic in European cuisine. Its firm, pearly white flesh is particularly popular in restaurants.
Line-caught whiting is a particularly delicate seawater fish. Its flesh is delicate and can deteriorate quickly; it's best to eat while very fresh.
Pollock is a delicate, subtle fish which is similar to whiting and saithe. Its quality, flavourful flesh is similar to cod. Although it's a quality fish, it's very affordable. This flavoursome fish offers real value for money and is recommended for all fans of delicate fish.
Meagre is an excellent fish which enjoys local renown; this migratory and predatory fish can, in some cases, reach a length of 1 metre and a weight of more than 50 kg.
One of the sea’s main predators, bass is the ultimate luxury fish. There are two different kinds of European sea bass, found in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.