Ammodytes marinus

Habitat & Distribution

A widely distributed species found throughout the UK and Ireland. It is a benthopelagic species, which may congregate in large schools near the surface or bury itself in the sand. It occurs in both inshore and offshore waters. Traditionally Ammodytes marinus , like other sand-eel species has been little exploited for human consumption but is a major target of industrial fishing for animal feed and fertiliser, particularly in the North Sea. This is the most heavily exploited sand-eel species. Increasing fishing pressure may cause problems for some of their natural predators, especially seabirds, which prey on them in deeper water. This sand-eel has been placed on the UK List of Priority Species and is also an NIMF candidate species. (The English name Lesser Sand-eel is more commonly used for Ammodytes tobianus ).