An anchovy is a small, common forage fish of the family Engraulidae. Most species are found in marine waters, but several will enter brackish water, and some in South America are restricted to fresh water.More than 140 species are placed in genera; they are found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, and in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Anchovies are usually classified as oily fish.Anchovies are found in scattered areas throughout the world’s oceans, but are concentrated in temperate waters, and are rare or absent in very cold or very warm seas. They are generally very accepting of a wide range of temperatures and salinity. Large schools can be found in shallow, brackish areas with muddy bottoms, as in estuaries and bays. The European anchovy is abundant in the Mediterranean, particularly in the Alboran Sea,Aegean Sea and the Black Sea.This species is regularly caught along the coasts of Crete, Greece, Sicily, Italy, France, Turkey, Northern Iran, Portugal and Spain. They are also found on the coast of northern Africa. The range of the species also extends along the Atlantic coast of Europe to the south of Norway. Spawning occurs between October and March, but not in water colder than 12 °C (54 °F). The anchovy appears to spawn at least 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the shore, near the surface of the water.