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Fish uek (capelin): description, habitats, economic significance

Today we will talk about the fish uk. We learn all about the fish, about where it lives, how it breeds and what good properties it has. All you need to know about capelin, read in the article below.

Fish dishes have always been very popular. If you are able to properly prepare seafood, you can not only very tasty, but also useful to eat. Regular use of fish has a great effect on the state of human health. It is important that the quality of the fish, as well as the conditions for its processing. If all conditions are met, you can eat fish regularly.

What does "capelin" mean?

The word "capelin" has very old roots. It is taken from the languages of the Karelian-Finnish group. Similar words in Finnish and Karelian languages mean a small fish, which is used as a bait when catching cod. However, the capelin fish also have a third name - the fish capelan.

Fish description

Sea ray-ray fish has three names, as we already understood. A capelin is a predatory fish. It belongs to the family of smelt.

Has a body of elongated shape, which is oblate on the sides. In length, it can reach from 15 to 25 cm, and by weight - up to 54 g. The scales throughout the body are almost the same size: those that are located along the sides of the belly and along the sideline are only slightly larger than those that cover the back. The head of the fish is small in size, but it has a wide mouth slit. The bones of the upper jaw reach the middle of the eyes. As for the teeth, there are many, they are small and well developed.

A feature of fish is considered to be fins with a black border. The pectoral fins have a more rounded shape, whereas the dorsal fins are strongly extended back. The sides and belly of the capelin fish are silvery with a white outflow, and the back is greenish.

Differences between female and male

The fish has a characteristic feature, which is the difference between the female and the male, which are visible to the naked eye. The male has long fins, its body is several times larger than the body of the female, and the head has a more acute shape. During the breeding period on the side of the belly, the males have hair-like scales that form a bristly surface. The maximum lifespan of fish is no more than 10 years.


The fish capelin is of the same name. Some researchers, for simplicity of accounting, divided it into 2 subspecies according to the principle of habitat. For today, distinguish between the Pacific and Atlantic capelin.

Where to find?

This small fish chooses seawater. She lives at a depth of 300 m. In some cases, it can descend to 700 m. A hive of smelt will never swim into fresh water bodies or rivers. The best habitat for fish is sea water. Only during spawning does the fish come up to the shores.

Atlantic capelin can be found in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. It also occurs in Labrador and Davis Strait, near the shores of Greenland, in the waters of the Chukchi, White, Kara, Barents and Laptev seas.

Pacific capelin lives in the northern part of the ocean, which is bounded by the island of Vancouver and the coast of Korea. Many flocks of this small fish can be found in the Japanese, Bering and Okhotsk seas.


As it was said before, the fish of the uk is a predator. Its food consists of larvae of shrimp, zooplankton and fish roe. Also capelin eats small crustaceans and sea worms. Because the uek is a very active fish, it needs a lot of energy. That's why even in the colder months, capelin does not stop eating.


First of all, it should be noted that the spawning of this fish directly depends on the places in which it lives. The capelin, which lives on the western shores of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, spawns in spring and summer. The capelin, which lives in the east of the Atlantic, continues this process in the fall. Fish, living in the eastern waters of the Pacific Ocean, spawns all autumn.

Before going to the spawning site, small flocks gather in multimillion shoals. Other predators that feed on capelin are tempted by such prey and pursue it. Moyve must avoid gulls, seals, whales and cod. Often, during the spawning of these fish on shore, they are thrown out by millions.

What places does capelin choose for spawning? Usually it is a large shoal area, which has a shallow depth and a sandy bottom. It should be noted that some schools of fish prefer to spawn at a great depth, reaching tens of meters. For the process to be successful, the water temperature should be about 2-3 ° C. Oxygen is very important. For the fertilization of one female, 2 males are needed, which accompany it on each side. With the help of the tail, the males make small holes in the bottom, in which the female lays eggs. Eggs are very sticky, so they easily stick to the bottom. Their diameter reaches 0.5-1.2 mm. The number of pending eggs depends on the habitat. This number can fluctuate in crazy limits: from 5 to 39 thousand pieces. After throwing caviar, the fish returns to its natural habitat. Some individuals go to re-spawn, but they often die, coming back.

Approximately on the 28th day after fertilization a larva appears, which by this time reaches 5-7 mm. The current carries them instantly to the open sea, where they gradually turn into adult individuals or die, becoming food for other predators. Young females become sexually mature the next year, but males get the ability to fertilize only after 13-15 months.

Beneficial features

Catching capelin is very active, and all because of the fact that it is a welcome dish on every table. Fish are regularly caught in huge volumes, which can reach 0.5 million a year. It's not just the taste of this fish, although they are important. Its low caloric value is very appreciated, which makes it the main ingredient of many dietary dishes. Cocktail is composed of easily digestible proteins. Their content in fish is approximately 23%. In addition, since there are very few connective tissues in fish, it is prepared very quickly.

However, it's not just that capelin is a dietary and delicious product. Among other things, it is still very useful. The fish contains polyunsaturated fatty acids. They can significantly reduce the level of cholesterol, which is collected on the walls of blood vessels. Regular use of capelin for food can serve as an excellent preventive agent for strokes, ischemic heart disease and heart attacks.

The flesh of this fish contains vitamins A, D, B, which are necessary for the human body to work properly. Also, the fish is rich in minerals: sodium, potassium, phosphorus, which is necessary for the prevention of dementia and improvement of human thought activity, and iodine, which plays a huge role in the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Capelin is the rare product that normalizes the production of sugar in the blood and even contributes to its reduction to the limits of the norm. As you can see, the fish is an irreplaceable ingredient for the diabetics, slimming and people who watch their health.

In this case, the fish has some contraindications. It should not be eaten by those who have an individual intolerance. It is not recommended to eat fish in too large quantities, since the high content of carcinogenic substances in it can contribute to the development of malignant tumors. Even with proper processing, a large number of parasites can remain in the fish, which, in turn, can lead to the development of a number of diseases.

Economic importance

The fish of the ridge on Sakhalin is of great economic importance. First of all, it should be said that this is a commercial fish. Its reserves in nature are great, so the catch in some years exceeded 4 million tons. From 2005 to 2009, the catch of this fish fluctuated within 270-750 thousand tons. In 2012, the world catch of the uka exceeded 1 million tons. The largest fish is caught in commercial catches. Her body reaches up to 20 cm in length.

Interesting Facts

Every year in the Russian city of Murmansk celebrate a feast in honor of this fish. The celebration takes place in early March. At this time at the fairs of the city you can try a huge variety of dishes from capelin and buy it in large quantities at a very attractive price.

Residents of Canada at the beginning of each summer do not have to go out to the market or to a supermarket to pamper their loved ones with a delicious dish from capelin. It's enough just to go ashore and collect as many fish as you need.

The Kola Peninsula is famous for the huge number of birds that nest there. It is caused by the fact that near the shore there is a large number of capelin, which serves as the basis for a diet for feathered inhabitants of the peninsula.

Summarizing the article on capelin, I would like to say that this fish is an important part of the diet for all lovers of fish dishes. You can not deny the useful properties with which it is so rich. Doctors recommend regularly eating fish chaplain in food to prevent hypertension. In this case, too frequent use of capelin can lead to negative consequences. As in everything, balance is needed here. If you are very fond of this fish and do not want to give it up, buy it only from trusted sellers and fresh. Smoked capelin from the nearest supermarket is not a product that can bring any benefit to the body.

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