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What is a Boops Boops?

A Boops Boops is not a whimsical character from a storybook, but rather a fascinating fish species, also known as the bogue. Found in the warm waters of the Mediterranean and East Atlantic, this creature plays a unique role in marine ecosystems. Intrigued? Discover how the bogue's existence is pivotal to underwater life balance in our full article.
Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee

A boops boops is an edible fish indigenous to the waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. These typically small fish often inhabit shallow coastal waters, and generally like sandy, muddy, weedy, or rocky sea floors. They may travel in schools, especially while migrating to spawn, and schools of boops boops can often be seen traveling near the surface of the water at night. They generally feed on planktons and crustaceans. As a food fish, they are often eaten broiled, baked or fried.

Mostly found in European waters, the boops boops or bogue is a relatively small fish that can reach a maximum length of about 14.2 inches (36 cm). They are normally much smaller, however, with an average length of about 7.9 inches (20 cm). The boops boops is generally a slim fish. It may have golden stripes running the length of its body, and most have a distinctive black marking near the pectoral fin.

Veterinarian with a puppy
Veterinarian with a puppy

This species is believed to be hermaphrodytic, though not much is known about the way they reproduce. Schools of boops boops have been known to migrate during spawning season, returning to their feeding territories after spawning has ended. Schools of these fish may travel more than 62.2 miles (100 km) in order to reach spawning areas. Their migration patterns are generally easy to identify. These fish typically prefer to remain near the surface, at depths of about 330 feet (100 meters). Sometimes, they can venture as far as 1,150 feet (350 meters) below the surface of the sea.

Boops boops generally prefer temperate or subtropical waters. They can usually be found in high concentrations off the coast of northern Europe, in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and even off the coast of Africa. This species is believed to be fairly resilient. Boops boops populations have been known to expand to twice their size in as little as 1.4 years.

These fish are often harvested as commercial game. They can be eaten, or used as bait to catch larger fish. They are often consumed as a pan-fried fish, but can also be broiled or baked. They are usually caught by trawling, since they often travel in schools. As commercial species go, the boops boops is considered one of the more expensive food fish.

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      Veterinarian with a puppy