When it comes to food products Anchovies are a very fascinating food item not just because of their versatility as a food ingredient but also because of the variety of different kinds of Anchovies that can be found in the world. The variety of Anchovies that can be found in our world is so numerous with over 140 different kinds of Anchovies that have been discovered so far.
We will be discussing one of the Anchovy species that is popularly consumed, which is the Japanese Anchovy. Shall we get to know more about the Japanese Anchovy together? Fantastic! Without further ado, let us begin.
- The different names of Japanese Anchovies
One of the amazing things about food products is the names that are used for them in different languages. Let us take a look at some of the different names that are used for Japanese Anchovies as shown in the following table:
|日本凤尾鱼 (Rìběn fèngwěiyú)||Simplified Chinese|
|Ikan bilis jepun||Malay|
|ஜப்பானிய நெத்திலி மீன் (Jappaaniya Nettili Meen)||Tamil|
|일본 멸치 (ilbon myeolchi)||Korean|
From the table above we can see and appreciate how there are different and similar ways to describe the same food product in various different languages other than English.
- What is the native habitat range of Japanese Anchovies?
With regards to the question of the native habitat of Japanese Anchovies, this fish species is found in the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Pacific coasts of Japan and even near Taiwan. Additionally they are also found on rare occasions near the coasts of Luzon and Mindanao of the Philippines as well as the many islands of Indonesia such as Sulawesi, Manado and Ujung Pandang.
- What do Japanese Anchovies feed on?
Let us now move on to the question of what Japanese Anchovies feed on. These fish are known to eat small crustaceans, mollusc larvae as well as larvae and eggs of other fish as adults. With regards to young Japanese Anchovies, they have been observed to eat diatoms. Diatoms are single cell algae that produce long chain fatty acids. This attribute of diatoms make them important sources of food for both young Japanese Anchovies as well other marine life such as whales because the fatty acids that diatoms produce provide energy to the creatures that consume them.
- How big can Japanese Anchovies grow to be?
With regards to how big Japanese Anchovies can grow to be, this fish can grow to lengths of up to 16 Centimetres/6.29 Inches long. However it must also be noted that Japanese Anchovies generally grow to lengths of 12 Centimetres/4.72 Inches to 14 Centimetres/5.51 Inches long.
- What is the lifespan of Japanese Anchovies?
We now move on to the question of the lifespan of Japanese Anchovies. These fish have been observed to live up to 2 years. Their second year of life is when Japanese Anchovies have been seen to reproduce. Furthermore, Japanese Anchovies have been observed to reproduce year round. A very interesting aspect about Japanese Anchovy reproduction is the fact that they have been seen to reproduce in the southern parts of Japan in winter and early spring while in autumn and late spring, Japanese Anchovies have been observed to reproduce in the waters near central Japan as well as in the waters near the northern part of Taiwan.
The young of Japanese Anchovies also hatch very quickly. The timeframe for the hatching of young Japanese Anchovies depends on the water temperature. At times young Japanese Anchovies have been observed to hatch within 30 hours when in waters that are between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. However when water temperatures are at 18 degrees Celsius young Japanese Anchovies have been observed to hatch within 48 hours. What this seems to indicate is that temperature seems to be an important factor with regards to how quickly young Japanese Anchovies hatch from their eggs, which is a very interesting aspect of the life cycle of Japanese Anchovies.
- Are Japanese Anchovies Farmed or Wild Caught?
We now come to the question of whether or not Japanese Anchovies are farmed or wild caught. Japanese Anchovies are wild caught. A key reason for this is because the fishing season for Japanese Anchovies coincides with their spawning cycle which takes place in the second and final year of the lives of Japanese Anchovies. One reason why Japanese Anchovies are wild caught is because of their short 2 year lifespan.
- Which countries catch the largest amounts of Japanese Anchovies?
When it comes to the question of which countries are the largest consumers of Japanese Anchovies, two countries come to mind being China and Japan. An example that illustrates this is how in the year 1999, the total global catch of Japanese Anchovies was 1 820 259 tonnes. Out of that total amount, 1 96 916 tonnes of Japanese Anchovies was caught by China while 484 230 tonnes of Japanese Anchovies was caught by Japan according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
- How many Japanese Anchovies are caught globally?
Another question that may come to mind is how many Japanese Anchovies are caught globally. While the statistics may vary, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, since the year 1998 more than a 1 million tonnes of Japanese Anchovies are caught from the wild every year.
Let us now recap what we have discussed with the help of the following table:
|What we have learnt|
|1. We talked about the different names of the Japanese Anchovy in various different languages. |
2. We discussed the native habitat range of Japanese Anchovies, which included the waters near Japan, Taiwan and at times Indonesia and the Philippines.
3. We talked about what adult and young Japanese Anchovies eat as part of their diet. For the young Japanese Anchovies a kind of single celled algae known as diatoms were particularly liked while Adult Anchovies liked to eat small crustaceans, mollusk larvae as well as the eggs and larvae of other fish to name a few of the creatures they feed on.
4. We discovered that Japanese Anchovies could grow up to 16 Centimetres/6.29 Inches in length.
5. We learnt that the lifespan of Japanese Anchovies was a maximum of 2 years.
6. We also discovered that Japanese Anchovies spawn at the age of 2 years and that they spawn at different parts of their native habitat depending on the season. In the winter and early spring these fish reproduce near the southern parts of Japan while in late spring and autumn, Japanese Anchovies have been seen to reproduce near central Japan and northern Taiwan.
7. On top of this we discovered that water temperature played a role in how quickly young Japanese Anchovies hatched from their eggs.
8. We discovered that Japanese are wild caught and not farmed. A possible reason for this could be their short lifespan as well as the fact that the fishing season for Japanese Anchovies takes place when they are spawning at 2 years of age.
9. We discovered that two countries catch the largest amount of this fish, namely China and Japan according to statistics.
10. We also discovered that since 1998 the amount of Japanese Anchovies caught globally numbered more than 1 million tonnes every year.
A Fascinating Learning Journey
Over the course of our exploration, one thing is quite clear, the Japanese Anchovy is a very fascinating fish in a variety of different ways as we have observed. Besides that it is safe to say that an appreciation for the nuances of our food sources has been arrived at over the course of our journey together. With that said, until our next exciting exploration, be sure to keep gaining new insight into the food that you eat be it Japanese Anchovies or otherwise.