• Scientific name: Serranus cabrilla
  • Size: Does not usually exceed 30cm in length
  • UK minimum size: N/a
  • UK shore caught record: N/a
  • ICUN Status: LC (Least Concern)
  • Distribution: Generally found in warmer waters meaning that British distribution of this species is mostly limited to the English Channel and waters around the south west coast of England.
  • Feeds on: Marine worms, shellfish crustaceans and any other small sea creatures it can find.
  • Description: High body (looks somewhat like a wrasse) and single dorsal fin with has spines in its first section, although these are usually folded down when the fish is in the water. Tail is completely unforked and eyes are relatively large. Colour can be anything from brown to reddish orange with light and dark horizontal and vertical stripes across the body.

Comber is a fish that is generally found in warmer waters. They are common throughout the Mediterranean Sea and along the coast of the African Continent. They are at the limit of their northerly distribution in British waters, but are found in small numbers in the waters of the English Channel and along the south west and parts of the Welsh coast. Vagrant comber may very occasionally be found elsewhere around the British Isles on a sporadic basis. Comber can be found across a range of seabeds with sand, mud and rocky areas all holding this species. They can be found in shallow inshore waters as well as in deeper offshore waters, but they are seldom found in water deeper than one-hundred meters. The comber is a relatively obscure species which holds little interest to anglers, underlined by the fact that there is no shore caught record for this species. Comber are unfussy feeders which will eat any source of food which presents itself. They will eat small and immature fish, marine worms, squid and also scavenge on dead marine animals.

Conservation Status and Commercial Value

The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) classes the comber as a species of Least Concern as it is abundant throughout much of the Mediterranean and its population is remaining stable. This species has a very low commercial value, with around 1000 tons being caught and retained by fisheries throughout European waters.

British Rod Caught Records

The boat caught record for this species is a specimen of 1lb 13oz caught in Mounts Bay, Cornwall in 1977. The shore caught record for this species is currently vacant and the qualifying weight is set at 12oz.

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