The sea presents us with an incredible variety of delicious and healthy food. The largest share of it falls on fish. Among them there is one that bears the color of passion and a taste that seduces. This is the fagri fish. It is one of the most impressive looking and tasting fish that lives in crystal clear sea waters in ideal conditions and is a high quality fish with a mild, sweet taste and high nutritional value, because it contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Anyone who has already tasted the unforgettable taste of fagri can learn more about it. And information about this beauty of the sea can lead others to enjoy the taste qualities of this sea creature.
Classification and Etymology of Fagri
The Latin name of the fish is Pargus pargus and it belongs to the Sparidae family. They call this family Pomfrets. They are compressed fish with a deep body, small mouth, a single dorsal fin with strong spines and a short anal fin. They are a species of perciformes, also called two-banded sea bream. They have pointed dorsal fins and large, firmly attached scales.
These are carnivorous fish inhabiting temperate and tropical waters that live and feed near the bottom. Hermaphrodites are also found in the Sparidae family. Such is the fagri fish.
It was first described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in his Sistema Naturae in 1758 in the X edition. Linnaeus named the fish Sparus pargus, it was moved to the genus Pargus. There are also a few more colloquial names. In the Persian Gulf it is called white snapper, in Great Britain it is called Red porgy, the Greek name is fagri. It is also called kingfish and has been known since ancient times.
What does the fagri fish look like?
The red fagri is a fish with a relatively large size and an elongated body shape. The standard length for the species is 75 centimeters, although specimens half that size are more common. The commercial size is between 30 and 50 centimeters.
The eyes of the fish are set high on the head. The dorsal fin of fagri has 11 to 13 spines and 9 to 10 soft rays, while the anal fin has 3 spines and 7-8 soft rays.
This fish is silver-pink in color with darker blue spots on the nape and behind the pectoral fins. The tail fin is dark pink with paler tips and the rest of the fins are pale pink.
Most fish have molar-like teeth like most carnivores.
Distribution and habitats of fagri fish
The red fagri is found in warm coastal waters on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. On the eastern side, the range extends from southern Britain to the Western Sahara, including the waters around the Canary Islands and the island of Madeira and the Mediterranean Sea. The range of fagri includes the Sea of Marmara, but does not extend to the Black Sea.
On the western side of the Atlantic Ocean, it can be found from the east coast of the United States to Argentina in the south. It is present in the Gulf of Mexico and the western part of the Caribbean Sea, but is absent in the eastern part.
It can reach depths of up to 250 meters, but is more commonly found between 10 and 80 meters, on continental rocks. It is a demersal fish that can be found in both rocky and soft sediment areas. Young ones often inhabit seaweed beds or enter lagoons occasionally.
Ecological characteristics of fagri fish
This type of demersal fish feeds either near or on the sea floor with crustaceans, molluscs and small fish. They are hermaphrodites, with the young first born female and at some point some change their sex to male. Sexual maturity is reached at the age of 2-3 years.
Gender change occurs in a wide range of sizes - from 206 to 417 millimeters and a wide range of ages - from 2 to 9 years.
Not all fish change sex. Some are primary males whose ovarian tissue atrophies before they reach mature age. Others are secondary males - they behave as females for several cycles before changing sex. Others remain female as adults, possessing only rudimentary male tissue.
There is evidence that gender reassignment is dictated by social or environmental factors, as they do not have a genetic cable, as they say in the language of science.
Fagry fish population status
The red fagri is an important species for both commercial and recreational fishing. This is especially true for the US East Coast, Argentina, and the Mediterranean. It is usually caught with a fishing rod and the population has greatly declined due to overexploitation, but in some areas minimum catch size limits have been set in an attempt to limit the catch and strengthen the populations.
Another way to conserve stocks is the use of aquaculture, especially in the Mediterranean.
Despite the reduction of stocks of this fish in some areas due to the spread of the species and the complex biological needs it has, it can be said that it is generally not at risk of extinction. That's why the International Union for Nature Conservation has rated its conservation status as east concerning and trade and fishing are heavily involved in the economy of some of the regions where it is present.
Cooking fagri fish
This fish is extremely popular in the cuisine of many people, because its meat is delicate and tender in structure, dense and tasty and with a light pink color. It lacks the overpowering fishy smell and like the other carnivorous fish has almost no bones.
The precious fagri fish is considered one of the best grilled fish delicacies.
Both types are consumed - wild fish caught in the sea and fish from fish farms. Wild ones are at the entry-level end of the price spectrum, while specialist farmed ones are more expensive.
How is fagri prepared and served?
The fish has scales, so they are cleaned and the skin is preserved. Fagri is prepared with herbs, grilled and served topped with lemon and olive oil dressing.
It can also be stewed and fish soup can be made with it.
Vegetables are a suitable side dish for fagri. No matter what the cooking method is, the important thing is to preserve the flavor of the fish.
In the Republic of Korea, it is also served roasted with mayonnaise salad. It is so popular that it is considered one of the flavors that represent the country.
In other places it is known as Greek fish and it is prepared and served in the versions that are popular in Greece - mostly grilled with citrus and vegetables. The choice is usually with a side dish of vegetables, with sea salt and lemon, in a salt crust. The latter option is usually served with a sauce of flour, herbs, citrus and egg white.
All the preparation possibilities are besides tasty, also very healthy, because fagri fish is a healthy suggestion.
Suitable spices for fagri are thyme, parsley, garlic, chives, spring onions, black pepper, rosemary, mint, dill and of course, olive oil.
Appropriate drinks when serving fagri
Delicate wines go with delicate fish meat - either white or red. The choice depends on how the fish is prepared. It can also be served with cold beer. The typical Greek mastika and ouzo are also suitable for the fish.
If you're looking for delicious ideas on how to cook fagri, check out these sea bream recipes. If you want a more dietary dish, take a look at our grilled fish recipes.