Mullet Fishes 

Mullet fishes are a group of marine fishes that are widely distributed in coastal and estuarine waters around the world. They are typically characterized by their elongated body shape, small scales, and a pointed head with a small mouth. Mullet fishes are known for their migratory behavior, with some species undertaking long journeys between their breeding and feeding grounds. These fishes are also important in many commercial and subsistence fisheries, and are considered a delicacy in many cultures. Additionally, mullet fishes play an important ecological role in their habitats, serving as prey for larger predators and helping to regulate populations of smaller organisms.

NameMullet fishes
Scientific NameMugilidae
Found in which coastal waters of IndiaBrackish waters along the coasts of India, especially in estuaries, lagoons, and backwaters
States its eaten as foodMullet fishes are widely consumed in various parts of India, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.
IUCN statusSome species of Mullet fishes found in Indian waters, such as the Flathead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus), are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. However, some other species, such as the Striped Mullet (Mugil cephalus) and Thin-lipped Grey Mullet (Liza ramada), have not yet been assessed.


Mullet fishes are characterized by their elongated body shape and a small head with a pointed snout. They have two dorsal fins, and their coloration varies depending on the species. Some mullet fish species are silver or gray, while others have a bluish-green hue. Mullet fishes are known for their ability to jump out of the water and their strong, flexible body, which helps them to navigate through different environments.


Mullet fishes are found in both marine and brackish waters across India. They prefer warm water environments and are commonly found in estuaries, lagoons, and mangroves. Mullet fishes are also known to inhabit shallow waters near the shore.


Mullet fishes are omnivores, and they feed on a variety of small marine organisms like crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish. They are also known to feed on algae and other plant material found in their habitat.

Species found in Indian waters

There are several species of mullet fishes found in the coastal waters of India, including the following:

Flathead mullet (Mugil cephalus)

Diamond scale mullet (Liza vaigiensis)

Thicklip mullet (Chelon macrolepis)

Leaping mullet (Liza saliens)

Elongate mullet (Liza subviridis)

These species are commonly found in the estuaries and lagoons of the Indian coastline.

Which parts of India it is eaten

Mullet fishes are a popular food source in several parts of India, especially in coastal regions. They are commonly prepared as curries, fry, or grilled and are often served with rice or other side dishes. The states of Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal are known for their traditional mullet fish recipes.

Importance in marine ecosystem

Mullet fishes play a vital role in the marine ecosystem as they are an important food source for larger predatory fish and other marine animals. They also help to regulate the population of smaller marine organisms by feeding on them.

IUCN status of Indian species

The IUCN Red List has categorized the flathead mullet and the diamond scale mullet as least concern species. However, the thicklip mullet, the leaping mullet, and the elongate mullet do not have any IUCN status.


In conclusion, mullet fishes are an important part of the marine ecosystem in India. They are found in brackish waters, and their ability to adapt to different environments makes them an important food source for humans and other marine animals. While some species are more commonly consumed than others, they are all an integral part of the coastal ecosystem. The conservation of these species is crucial for maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem.

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