The Garfish or Garpike – Belone belone

B&W Engraving

The garfish is a handsome, slender bodied fish with a long needle like beak set with many small teeth. It is a needlefish, and a member of the family Belonidae, and is related to flying fish and halfbeaks. It has a bluish to greenish back, with a silver belly, and unusual green bones.

Length; up to 90cm – Weight; up to 1.3kg

Garfish prefer warm water, and and visit British and Northern European waters in the summer months, reaching as far as the Baltic coasts of Denmark and Sweden, where they are a very popular catch. They inhabit shallow coastal waters, and feed on small fish.

Garfish are excellent to eat, although some people find the green bones a little off- putting. However, once they have been filleted and cooked the flesh is delicious, and a bit like herring, but not so oily. Garfish are considered a great delicacy on the continent.

Other names for garfish include needlefish, garpike, and in Italy, aguglie. Many garfish recipes can be found on the net, one of which can be seen here.