The European perch, or Perca fluviatilis, has been named the Fish of the Year for 2019.
The Swiss Fishing Association said on Wednesday external linkthat it had chosen the perch to remind the public of its popularity, particularly as a culinary delicacy in Switzerland.
Around 350 tonnes of perch are caught every year by local professional fishermen and amateur anglers. But ten times this amount is imported or farmed to meet consumer demand.
The perch, a predatory species, is greenish with red fins and five to eight vertical dark bars on its side. An adult perch can vary greatly in size: 25-40 cm long and weighing between 200 g and 2 kg. They can be found in the plants and reeds of lakes, slow-moving rivers and streams throughout the Alpine country. When the temperatures drop, they like to descend to up to 100 metres below the surface of deep lakes.
The perch is thought to have lived in Europe and Asia for 23 million years and has spread to other parts of the world like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. There are now over 9,300 different species classed in 150 families.