Milkfishes appear silver in color. They have a fusiform body; long and elongated. Their backs are normally a dark blue color which slowly changes into silver-white once it gets past the lateral line. They have a deeply forked tail. They have no spines on their fins, only rays. In appearance, they are quite a sight to behold as they are streamlined in appearance.
They have straight pectoral fins with their anal fin being a little curved in appearance.
Diet and Size
Milkfish eat a variety of invertebrates. They also eat algae whenever they can. Most of the time, Milkfishes go around in schools near coral reefs. They don’t have teeth so they don’t normally feast on meaty or hard-shelled food like crustaceans.
Milkfishes are quite small commercially. But left alone, these fishes can grow up to 5’11 ft. Although, commonly they remain around 39 inches. They can weigh up to 31 lbs.
Interesting Facts about the Milkfish
Milkfish is a very common fish in Southeast Asia.
They go by different names:
Ibiya – Nauruan
Awa – Hawaiian
Bangus – Filipino
Ava – Tahitian
Bandeng/Bolu – Bahasa
Milkfish is very popular.
They are known for their white meat and their versatility as food.
Many people usually eat their Milkfish fried. Some however have baked it and even put it in a soup. At times, Asian cuisines boil the Milkfish with sour fruits such as Tamarind or Tree Sorrel. Though, Tree Sorrel may commonly be known as Bilimbi. Or if you’re in the Philippines, Kamias.
Some even smoke it and ferment it in salt which preserves its shelf life.
Milkfishes are considered the national fish of the Philippines.
Milkfish is not advisable to eat for children at a young age.
Milkfish are known to have a lot of bones. Unlike fish that have hard bones, Milkfish has soft, thread-like bones that look like feathers.
Unless you’re quite keen on flaking fish, best to buy the boneless Milkfish.
It was because children tended to choke on their bones that people opted to sell Boneless Milkfish.
Because of their popularity, Milkfish are commonly subjected to aquaculture.