Common name: Common Bream
Scientific name: Abramis brama (Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Cyprinidae
Order: Cypriniformes
Class: Actinopterygii
Irish name: Bréan
Irish record angling fish: 5.528kg (1997, Bolganard Lake)
Native species: No; introduced pre-18th Century5;
Hybrids: Roach/Bream, Rudd/Bream

Identifying features

Mouth inferior; dorsal short-based, but high and ‘peaked’; its origin some distance behind insertion of pelvic fins; anal fin very long, with 23-29 branched rays; tail-fin large, deeply forked, the lower lobe the longer; 49-57 scales along the lateral line; Very slimy; Young fish (up to about 12 inches) greyish above, silvery on the sides, fins grey; Large fish bronze, with very dark fins4;

Environment and Habitat

Occur on the bottom or midwaters of water body; migrate within freshwater only1; inhabits lowland lakes and rivers; growth of Bream is strongly temperature-dependant, large sizes are only attained in warm waters2;

European distribution

Widespread in temperate Europe; 75°N - 40°N, 11°W-73°E; Found in Irish lakes, canals and larger Irish rivers.

Economic value in Ireland

Very valuable for angling tourism; no commercial fishery.

Red list status

Not evaluated

Irish legislation status

Protected by Coarse Fish bye-law No. 806, 2006: maximum 4 fish per angler per day; no killing of coarse fish > 25cm.

EU legislation status: Unprotected