Flying Fish is a name common to various fishes which have the power of sustaining themselves for a time in the air by means of their large pectoral fins. There are about sixty-four species of Flying Fish of the world which is grouped in seven to nine genera but the most common belonging to the genera Exocaetus, Cypsilurus, and Parexocaetus.
|Oistin’s Flying Fish, a “Delicacy of Barbados”|
Flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of water into air, the pectoral fins, which are very large, are the principal instruments in their flight, serving to sustain the fish temporarily in the air after it has acquired an initial velocity in its rush through the water. This uncommon ability is a natural defense mechanism to evade predators.
It can pass through the air to a considerable distance, sometimes as much as 150 to 200 yards, which it does to escape from the attacks of their enemies, or when disturbed by passing vessels. Flying fish live in all of the oceans, particularly in tropical and warm subtropical waters but the best-known species
are Exocaetus volilans, abundant in the warmer parts of the Atlantic, Cypsilurus californicus, on the coast of
Parexoaetus mesogaster. California
Some species of flying fish are used for delicious sea food. They are commercially fished in
and China by the method of
gillnetting, and in Indonesia
by dipnetting. India