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Garfish overwinter west of the British Islands and migrate in the spring to the North Sea. In the summer, they are quite common along the Dutch coast and tidal waters. The Wadden Sea is a nursery for young garfish. Because the eggs of this species remain on the bottom, it is important that there is sufficient current to provide them with oxygen. Garfish hunt in schools upon small free-swimming fish (such as young herring, sprat and lesser sandeel) and zooplankton.

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