; subclass Actinopterygii, order Clupeiformes)
A family of small, slender, silvery, marine fish related to the herrings, which have a long snout projecting over the lower jaw, a large mouth, and a single, soft-rayed, dorsal fin. They travel in huge schools near the shore. Many species, including Engraulis encrasicolus (European anchovy), are of considerable importance as food fish or as bait fish, the annual catch in Europe amounting to some 300 000 tonnes. There are about 110 species, distributed world-wide.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.