Bream, Black or porgy or seabream

Spondyliosoma cantharus

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Gill or fixed net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall Inshore: 0-6nm
Stock detail — 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h
Picture of Bream, Black or porgy or seabream

Sustainability rating four info

Sustainability overview

For more information about this rating please visit:

Cornwall Good Seafood Guide Cornwall Good Seafood Guide


A member of a group of fish known as Sparidae, the black bream is one of two species commonly found in northern European seas. Found off south-west Britain and east Ireland in the English Channel and the Irish Sea. Spawning occurs in April and May in a number of inshore waters, such as the English Channel. Since black bream aggregate to spawn in predictable times and locations, the species can be vulnerable to high pressure from anglers. They are called black bream because they turn a jet black colour when they are courting. Black seabream are unusual in that they are sequential hermaphrodites (undergoing a sex change during their lives), maturing as females at a length of 23cm, then as males at around 30cm. All fish over 40cm are males. The maximum reported age, length and weight are 15 years, 60cm and 1.2kg respectively. They are found over seagrass beds and rocky and sandy bottoms between about 5m to 300m. Black bream lay eggs in a nest that the male has excavated on sand with its tail. The larger the female, the more fecund or more eggs she lays, e.g. a female of 18.5cm will lay around 31,000 eggs compared to a female of 33.5cm which lays around to 554,000 eggs. Gregarious, sometimes in large schools but the males can also be very aggressive when they are protecting the nests. Omnivorous, feeding on seaweeds and small invertebrates, especially crustaceans. Likely predators on black bream eggs are clawed crustaceans. Adult black bream have few predators, however a few are likely to be taken by seabirds and marine mammals.

Stock information

Criterion score: 0.5 info

Stock Area

Cornwall Inshore: 0-6nm

Stock information


Criterion score: 0.75 info

Capture Information

Criterion score: 0.5 info


Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler
Cod, Atlantic Cod
Cod, Pacific Cod
Coley, Saithe
Hake, European
Monkfish, Anglerfish, White
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Spurdog, Spiny Dogfish, Dogfish, Rock Salmon or Flake
Sturgeon (Farmed)