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Coal fish (also called saithe) are feared predators. Not only do they eat small crustaceans, herring and sprat, they even eat their own young. They closely resemble whiting. The greatest difference is found in the jaw. While by coal fish the lower jaw sticks out, it's the upper jaw that sticks out by whiting. Coal fish often live in large schools on or just above the sea floor. On a global scale, this fish is number two on the list of most important species for the fisheries. Only anchovies (from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans together) are caught more often.

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