Types of Fish: Classification and Characteristics

| Last Updated May 4, 2020

Fish appeared on Earth more than 400 million years ago. Since then, massive changes have occurred. Today, there are more than 31,000 species in the world. The environmental conditions are mainly responsible for the change in fish population. Also, the natural factors including seabed morphology, currents, depth, the temperature of water and salinity are the responsible. Many species, when adapted to one environment, don’t want to leave the place and go to another.

Usually, we consider fish which we can use as food. Fish can be classified into different types based on their habitats, outer layers, and nutritional values.

Types of Fish

According to the types of water in which they live and their preferential location, fish are two types:

1. Freshwater or River Fish

The fish which lives in Freshwater includes Salmon, Carla, and Pike, etc.

2. Saltwater or Sea Fish

Fish lives in the sea. Examples include Pollock, Herring, Tuna, Anchovy, Mackerel, Croaker, Flounder, and Hake.

3. Diadromous Fish

They travel throughout their life between salt and fresh water.


• Sea lamprey
• American eel
• Brook trout
• Striped bass

4. Anadromous Fish

“An anadromous fish, born in fresh water, spends most of its life in the sea and returns to fresh water to spawn. “


  • Striped bass
  • Sturgeons
  • Shads

5. Catadromous Fish

This type of fish lives in fresh water and enters the salt water to spawn.


  • European eel
  • European flounder

6. Rock Living Fish

They are those who usually live in coastal areas have firm flesh. They feed shrimp, crabs, and seaweed.


  • Conger.

7. Sand Fish

They tend to be flat and live in sandy bottoms, where they hide from predators mingling with the environment.


  • Flatfish
  • Eel
  • Cod
  • Grouper

According to its fat content, there are two main types:

  1. Whitefish
  2. Blue Fish


The group of white fish contains a large list of species, which are usually inhabited on the seabed. Its fat content is very low and is easy to digest, once cooked. The best way to prepare them is cooking in water or steaming and also frying. Grilled or baked fish are also very tasty.
Most common white fish species are hake, cod, sea bass, cock, cod, sea bream, scorpion fish, bream, and turbot.

Blue Fish

Blue or fatty fish contains fat content of more than 6 percent. But this fat content varies depending on the time of capture. Thus a blue fish can become white after spawning.

Usually, they are migratory species, so that the fat reserve is safe for long trips. Besides, they are also characterized by having more blood than whitefish. The name of blue is because the back of these species has a greenish blue color.

They are harder to digest than white fish. For this, it is advised to cook them in dry. They are also omega 3 fatty acids rich, which is very helpful in heart disease treatment.

Most of the oily fish are Anguilla, eel, Herring, Bluefin Tuna, Albacore Tuna, Salmon, Sardines, etc.

Below is the List Edible Fish Varieties

Pollock or Fresh Cod

Sea or salt water fish. It is grayish in the back, with the white belly and small rectangular scales. Its white flesh laminated with small spines attached to its thick skin. It can be consumed by poaching, grilling, and cooking.


Fish of river or fresh water. Its body is cylindrical and elongated of gray color, of smooth, viscous or gelatinous skin. The breeding of eels is up to a certain age and size. It has gray or transparent body, are called eels. Their meat is white and greasy; they are cooked by fried, smoked and stewed.


Live in sea or salt water. Its body is small (about 23 cm).Smallmouth, teeth in both jaws, narrow central fins, bluish on the back and silvered by the belly. It has scales.
Herring can be cooked in grilled, gratin, etc. Herring should always be seasoned with strong flavors. It is also prepared in smoked or salted and in oil.

Herring Tuna

Sea or saltwater species. It is blackish blue in the back and silvery gray in the belly. Its size varies from 2 to 5 meters in adulthood. Her skin is smooth. Fresh tuna is prepared in fillets, grilled, braised, and roasted and in its most usual form: preserved in nature or oil. High red meat fish with delicious taste.

Tuna Catfish

River or freshwater organism. Long, smooth or viscous. Its head is large and flat, color and size is varied, yellow meat. It is used in steak, stew, poaches and fumet.
Small Mouth Barbel

Flatfish; the same conditions as the turbot and the stingray.

Sea Bream

Very dear as the whole roast. Best time to catch is from November to March.

Sea Bream

Saltwater fish. It is similar to the sardine, but a little smaller. Its flesh is brown with many thorns. Can be preserved for a long time by filleted, salted and in oil, receiving the name anchovy.

Anchovy Mackerel

Live Sea or salt water. It has smooth skin, blue color, and oily flesh. It’s firm and excellent in flavor. It is used in preserved, fresh, or fillets.

Carp Dogfish

It’s a small shark, rough skin and, grayish color. Use: Stew, stripping, filling.

Dogfish Conger

The body is round and elongated like an eel. Firm flesh. Use: Soup, bouillabaisse, braised.


Sea or salt water fish. The body is long. Skin is with silver scales. Flesh is tender. Use: Soup, Ceviche, mousse.
Golden fish Sword
Fish of blue color, silvery, smooth skin, firm flesh of dark pink color. Use: Marinated, smoked, grilled, etc.


It is a fish very coveted by its eggs for the caviar, can reach up to six meters in length, of the firm and white meat, of firm texture. It is used in fillet and smoked.

Sturgeon Rooster

Something similar to sole, but much less thin.
Fish: Rooster Lamprey

Species of thick eel. Appetizing. , It has few thorns. Use: for sauces.
Fish: Swordfish Sole
Its body is flattened, of grayish skin, darker above and white below. It is prepared whole or in filet, fried, to the grill, to the white wine.

Sea Bass

Fish is very fine and suitable for banquets; special to serve it whole. Being small, it is fried.


It has black spots on a golden or silvery brown background; it is an elongated, voracious fish with large scales. Have many thorns, with firm white flesh. It is prepared in roast, fillet etc.
Pike Mere
Flesh is white. Dark yellow on the back and white on the belly. Big head and the color is somewhat reddish. It is prepared in steaks, stews, grilled, stuffed and fried.


It is a big fish of white meat. Its first fin is short and the second long, as well as the ventral. It can reach up to one meter in length. They are salted, receiving the name of Cod of Scotland. It has the same preparations as the haddock.

Whiting: small hake. They eat whole fries, in pieces, gratin, etc.


A variety of small fish. Eaten in fried.


Its color is silvery orange, with scales. His flesh is white and prepared just like the grouper.

Fish: Striped Snapper
Big fish, its fins or wings are edible, gray color, fibrous flesh, and cartilaginous spines. Use: Pooches, stews.


Two species are recognized, the most common being known because it has silver-blue back, white belly and two fins on the back. The flesh of the bass is white. It is prepared in steaks, stews, grilled, stuffed, whole fried or in wheels. Large, fusiform and flattened body, brown and rough skin, white belly, white meat. Use: Stuffed, poached, braised.


Flatfish is a delicious fish, much appreciated in banquets. It can be prepared fried, grilled, cooked with sauce.

Turbot Red Mullet

Small fish, pink in color. Skin is with scales. Pink flesh and few small thorns. The rock has a chin. Use: Grill, pooches, Stews.

Mullet Salmon

Its skin is thick, covered with scales of blue silver color in the back and white in the belly, with dark spots on the sides. This fish born in the river and after two years goes to the sea, again returns to the river to spawn. Its meat is pink and is prepared in poached, grilled and smoked. Its pink meat is exquisite, whether fresh or smoked. It is a bit fatty, lends itself to delicious stews. Suitable for roasting, grilling, stew, stew, etc.

Salmon Sardines

Small fish, abundant thorns, dark flesh, firm. Use: Grill, preserve in oil.
Sea Bream
It is a fish similar to the snapper. Gray skin, colorful spot in its tail, pink flesh, firm in texture. Have few thorns. It is prepared in mousse, fillet, etc.


Large, firm flesh and pink in color. Delicate flavor. Its fin is widely used in soup.
Use: Smoked, stewed, soup, marinated.


It has white meat, although there is salmonella (pink meat). The fish has different size variations and color. Skin is smooth. It is a fish of cold streams. Stuffing or filleting cook.

My name is Caleb and I am obsessed with hunting, fishing, and foraging. To be successful, you have to think like your prey. You have to get into the mind of your target - and understand Big Game Logic. If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.