Atlantic saury, Scomberesox saurus, caught on Banc au Nord on 24 September 2011

September 26th, 2011 by Richard Lord

Mark Platt fly fishing on Banc au Nord to the north-east of Sark on 24 September 2011 caught a 95 gram Atlantic saury, Scomberesox saurus. This fish had a total length of 340 mm, a fork length of 323 mm, and a standard length of 306 mm.  It will be submitted as a Guernsey angling record.

Atlantic saury, Scomberesox saurus, caught over Banc au Nord, to the north-east of Sark on 24 September 2011 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The previous Guernsey record was caught by angler Roger Wheatland over Hurd Deep in the English Channel on the 12 September 2007. It was landed in Alderney and had a total weight of 70 grams and a total length of 304 mm measured to the tip of the lower jaw.

This fish, also known as a skipper and saury pike, usually arrives in small numbers in Guernsey waters during the late summer, although it can be numerous in Cornish waters for short periods in some years. Individual Atlantic saury have been recorded as far north as Scotland.

The Atlantic saury can be distinguished from the garfish or longnose, Belone belone, by the series of finlets behind the dorsal and anal fins.  It is a surface species with a wide-ranging distribution in the North Atlantic.

This species eats plankton, fish eggs, and larval fish.  It is food for tuna and marlin.  The Atlantic saury is a commercial seafood although it spoils quickly.  It is available frozen from Spain.  Its close relative, the Pacific saury, Cololabis saira, is found in much larger numbers, and is an important food fish in Asian markets.


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