University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
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Bream Information

There are a variety of fish referred to as bream fish, but not all of them are as closely related to each other as most species.  Therefore, it is difficult to give a specific class, order or family that bream fall into.  This also means there are both freshwater and marine species.  Sunfish, bluegill and warmouth may be referred to as bream, and then there are some fish officially named bream.  It may depend on the region whether a fish is referred to as a bream or not.  In the US, several of the larger Lepomis sunfishes are designated as bream fish.  In Europe, there is a fish called a bream whose scientific name is Abramis brama.  It’s actually a species of minnow.  Most of these fish are deep-bodied with a high back and flattened sides.  They’re usually carnivorous and consume molluscs, crustaceans and fish.  Lifespans, length and reproductive cycles can differ greatly between species.    Bream fish in general do not appear to hold an endangered species status, so there are no major conservation efforts for these fish.  Most of these fish are used as food and bait and fished both commercially and for sport by humans.

There are several marine species of bream in the Perciformes order that use the name directly.  The striped large-eye bream can be found as deep as 30 meters in the Indo-Pacific.  The species has also been spotted in the Atlantic Ocean near places like the Bahamas.  It lives along reef flats, lagoons and seaward reefs.  These fish can be found solitary or in groups and feed at night on benthic invertebrates.  The bridled monocle bream can be found as deep as 20 meters in the Western Indian Ocean, the South Pacific in areas like the Solomon Islands and the Andaman Sea near Thailand.  This species lives around the sandy bottoms of reefs.  The juveniles are solitary, but the adults live in small groups. 

The fork-tailed threadfin bream can be found as deep as 110 meters at depth in the Indian Ocean and west of the South Pacific near countries such as Papua New Guinea.  They live on both sandy and muddy bottoms as well as sheltered estuaries.  The pearly monocle bream may be found as deep as 25 meters in the western Pacific including South China Sea to Vanuatu and northwestern Australia, or even as far as Papua New Guinea.  They live on the sandy bottoms close to reefs and the juveniles might be Batesian mimics of poison-fang blennies.  The sea bream, also known as the Western Atlantic sea bream, is a species in the porgy or Sparidae family.  These bream can be found at depths up to 50 meters and prefer to live in seagrass beds, mangroves or reefs over muddy and sandy bottoms.  More common in warmer waters, sea breams can be found in the Mediterranean and all waters of the Atlantic.