The Bonga fish is a shad, a clupeid fish of the family Clupeidae, found in rivers and coastal waters of southern Africa. They are typically silver with a white underbelly. They have long bodies and large heads, round black eyes, a snout that extends past the rest of the head, and fleshy lips.
A Bonga fish is typically 2 to 3 feet long (1 m) but they can grow to be up to five feet or more in length (2 m). The largest Bonga fish recorded on record was a specimen taken from the Limpopo River that measured 14 feet in length (4.3 m).
How to identify Bonga fish?
Bonga fish is one of the most easily identified fish in Southern Africa. Bonga fish are usually silver with a white underbelly.
They have long bodies and large heads, round black eyes, a snout that extends past the rest of the head, and fleshy lips. The largest Bonga recorded on record was a specimen taken from the Limpopo River that measured 14 feet in length (4.3 m).
Behavioral and Physical Characteristics
Bonga fish are ground feeders, living in schools and feeding on insects, larvae, and small fish. The Bonga is a predatory fish, that attacks other fishes and waterfowl. They can leap out of the water to attack their prey. The Bonga is a popular commercial species, taken along both the South African east coast and the Mozambican coast by line fishing.
Bonga is very popular in Mozambique and several other countries, but there is some controversy as to its origin. In South Africa, the Bonga is often referred to as the ‘renowned’ fish, but in Mozambique, it is called ‘the Mozambican fish’.
The Bonga fish can be used for making fish mince and fish meal, as the fleshy lips are edible. It is also used as bait for catching crayfish, eels, and other aquatic animals.
The flesh of the Bonga is also in demand as a food source in Mozambique, where it is known locally as ‘the Mozambican Gold’ or ‘the Mozambican Moth.
The flesh of a Bonga fish is high in protein, low in fat; and is an excellent source of vitamins (A and B) and minerals.
- The flesh of the Bonga fish has a protein content of 63%, is low in fat, but high in fats (reportedly 39%), and is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- The fish contains an assortment of vitamins A, B, and C, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
- It is also a good source of calcium and phosphorus.
- Bonga fish is a rich source of the trace elements selenium, copper, zinc, and iron.
Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children should not eat Bonga fish. The fish can be cooked whole or prepared for cooking. The meat is usually served as a meal in Mozambique but is normally marinated before eating.
In South Africa, it is usually sold in supermarkets mixed with other fish and as a fish fillet that can be cut into fillets and exported to neighboring countries. However, review the full profile of the Bonga fish in the following table.
Best 14 information
|Other Name||Bonga shad or just bonga.|
|Climate Tolerance||Tropical coastal.|
|Diet||Aquatic animals, elephant fish, crayfish, mollusks, crustaceans, and insects.|
|Class||Actinopterygii Order: Clupeiformes.|
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