Gilt-head bream

© Parc national des Calanques


This famous fish has silvery grey sides that bathe shallow waters in colour. This is where it is most often found, alone or in small groups. However it can also be found as deep as 150 meters below the surface! Its body is oval and thin and its jaw rounded. A golden strip outlined with black is found between its eyes that can be described as “gilted”, giving it its name. Another, longer mark, is found by its gills. The ends of its caudal and dorsal fins have black edges. It mainly feeds on molluscs, crustacea and sea urchins thanks to the ability of its jaw to crush shells.

Scientific name

Sparus aurata

Natural habitats

  • Pelagic zone
  • Neptune grass meadows

Did you know?

When the East Atlantic peacock wrasse is in a vertical position and does not move with its head facing upwards or downwards, this is sign that it needs cleaning! Small wrasses, in the same family, come and remove its parasites.

Conservation stake



  • Changes to its environment
  • Pollution

How can I help to protect it?

  • I use environment-friendly mooring techniques to limit the impact of anchoring on the seabed.
  • In the case of anchoring out at sea, I only anchor in areas where marine habitats are not fragile and raise the anchor vertically
  • I report any unusual environmental incidents
  • I recover waste and dispose of it in suitable bins on land
  • I share this best practice with other seafarers and raise their awareness