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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Milkfish Chanos chanos

The milkfish is an elegant silvery fish with a streamlined body and a large, deeply forked tail. It is an important food fish in much of Southeast Asia and is extensively farmed. It feeds on plankton, soft algae, cyanobacteria, and small invertebrates. It is easy to keep in captivity as it is able to tolerate a wide range of salinity. Mature fish spawn in the sea, and the eggs and larvae drift inshore. Juveniles swim into estuaries and mangroves, where there are fewer predators, returning to the sea as they mature.

Milkfishzoom image
  • Order Gonorynchiformes
  • Length Up to 6 ft (1.8 m)
  • Weight Up to 31 lb (14 kg)
  • Depth 0–100 ft (0–30 m)
  • Distribution Tropical and subtropical waters of Indian and Pacific oceans
Milkfish habitat mapzoom image