Indian Butterfish (Stromateus cinereus)
Indian Butterfish (Stromateus cinereus), also known as the Grey Pomfret, is a marine fish species belonging to the family Stromateidae. It is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean, from the eastern coast of Africa to Japan and the northern coast of Australia. Indian Butterfish can be found in a range of habitats, such as coastal waters, estuaries, and occasionally in the open ocean, at depths of up to 200 meters (656 feet).
The Indian Butterfish is a medium-sized fish, typically growing up to 40-50 centimeters (16-20 inches) in length, with some individuals reaching up to 60 centimeters (24 inches). It has a compressed, deep, and somewhat oval-shaped body, with a small mouth and a forked tail. The coloration of the Indian Butterfish is predominantly silver-grey, sometimes with a slight green or blue tint, and a white underbelly. The fish has a smooth, scaleless body, which gives it a buttery texture, contributing to its common name.
Indian Butterfish is a carnivorous species, feeding primarily on a diet of crustaceans, small fish, and various other invertebrates. It forages both in the water column and near the bottom, using its keen senses to locate prey.
Reproduction and Lifecycle:
Little is known about the specific reproductive habits of the Indian Butterfish. However, it is believed that they spawn throughout the year, with peaks in spawning activity during the warmer months. As with many marine fish species, Indian Butterfish are thought to be oviparous, with external fertilization of eggs in the water column. The eggs and larvae are planktonic, drifting with the currents until the juvenile fish settle into suitable habitats to grow and mature.
The Indian Butterfish is an important commercial fish species in many parts of its range due to its palatable taste, firm texture, and high nutritional value. It is caught using various fishing methods, including gill nets, purse seines, and trawling. The fish is sold fresh, frozen, or dried, and it is often served in various culinary dishes, particularly in Southeast Asia and India.
The conservation status of the Indian Butterfish has not been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, like many other marine fish species, it faces various threats, including overfishing, habitat degradation, and pollution. Proper management of fish stocks, sustainable fishing practices, and protection of coastal habitats are crucial for the long-term survival of this species.