Mainly a coastal marine species, forming large schools. Tolerates salinities of 5-41 ppt and in some areas, enters lagoons, estuaries and lakes, especially during spawning. Tends to move further north and into surface waters in summer, retreating and descending in winter. Feeds on planktonic organisms. Spawns from April to November with peaks usually in the warmest months. Eggs are ellipsoidal to oval, floating in the upper 50 m and hatching in 24-65 hours. Marketed fresh, dried, smoked, canned and frozen; made into fish meal (Ref. 9987).
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