Gilthead seabream

Scientific name: Sparus aurata
English name: Gilthead seabream
Italian name: Orata

This fish lives along the coasts of the Mediterranean and central-eastern Atlantic on a sandy/rocky seabed mixed with seagrasses at a depth ranging from 30-150 metres. Juveniles, in particular, also live in lakes and estuaries where they can hide and there are ideal feeding conditions. It is a sedentary fish and, because of its fine flesh, is one of the most farmed species in Italy (about 6,200 ton.), with 66 installations active in Italy in 2016. Its average length is 35 cm but it can reach 70 cm. The body is grey with blue-gold reflections on the back and silvery ones on the sides. Distinctive features are the dark spot on the upper edge of the operculum and the golden stripe between the eyes. The mouth has an upper jaw which slightly overhangs the lower jaw and has strong teeth to crush the shells of molluscs and crustaceans. The gilthead seabream is not only farmed but is also a target for sport- and commercial fishing on all Mediterranean coasts.