Bramidae: family of Pomfrets

Ray's Bream, Brama brama

More Reports of Ray's Bream on  flickr
16 December 2011
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found at mouth of Brunstane Burn SE of Portobello Beach, Edinburgh.
Report and Photograph by Kevin Ingleby

BMLSS Strandline Reports

12 December 2010
We found a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, on the strandline, Seaburn Beach, Sunderland, north-east England. Its length was about 50 cm.

Report and Discovery by Shaun, Oliver & Thomas Nicholson

6 December 2010
I found a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, on  St. Cyrus Beach, near Montrose, east Scotland. It was a big fish, fifteen inches from nose to tip of tail.  It was being scavanged by gulls but was still alive. I brought it back and put it in our marine tank but it died shortly after.

Report by Therese Alampo
10 November 2010
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found on the sand at Winterton Beach, Norfolk.
Report and Photograph by Perry Fairman
1 November 2010
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was washed ashore at Portobello Beach, Edinburgh. 

Report and Photograph by Kevin Ingleby

c. 18 October 2010
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was caught near the Shetland Isles amongst some Mackerel. It weighed approximately 2.5 kg. My husband took the fish home, where I baked it with lemon and butter and with the other fillet made a fish pie which was delicious.

Report by Adrian Briant


16 October 2010
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, swam ashore at Immingham Wall at Bay 28 on the River Humber just before high tide at 1:30 pm.

Report and Photograph by Mike Thompson

28 January 2010
I found the corpse of an interesting looking fish known as the Ray's Bream, Brama brama, on the tide-line at St. Cyrus Beach (Aberdeenshire) around midday. It measured 46 cm in length and was located about 200 metres north of the mouth of the River North Esk. When I showed my photographs to the reserve warden, he informed me that two other corpses, which looked the same as mine, were found at roughly the same stretch of beach in the previous week.

Report by Harry Scott

January 2010
At least fifty Ray's Bream, Brama brama, were discovered over a period of a few weeks by the beach cleaning staff between Roker and Seaburn, at Sunderland, Wearside, north-east England.

Report by Steve Orwin (Resorts Supervisor)

14- 18 & 19 January 2010
After the heavy seas had dropped on the shore at Blyth, Northumberland, the gulls fed in a frenzy on a large shoal of Sand-eels, Ammodytes. On the subsequent two days I observed a few Ray's Bream, Brama brama, in the same shallows and I speculated that these fish could have been feeding on the Sand-eels seen earlier.

Report by Trevor Walker Photography
Date Location Notes Discoverer
25 January 2010 Cove (Aberdeen One dead, fed upon by gulls and most of the head was gone 

Photograph by Neil Blair

Neil Blair
18-19 January 2010 Blyth, Northumberland 18th: One carried alive about 3 lb, another alive in the shallows about 4 - 5 lb.
19th: At least one, probably more alive in the shallows behind a sand bar and in good health
Trevor Walker Photography
19 January 2010 Bamburgh, Northumberland
NU 172 359
It seemed fairly fresh due to cold weather but with an eye missing and signs of being scavenged on one side.

40 cm long x 22 cm deep
Lower jaw protuding with teeth
Dorsal fin with spikes extending to just above tail stalk. 
Anal fin with spines extending to near tail stalk.
Pelvic fin tiny.
Pectoral Fin - long & strap like
Caudal fin deeply forked and fins knife like.

Tim & Janet Dean


19 January 2010 Dunnet Bay shore.
ND 217 704
Hooded Crow feeding on the fish in the shallow water and surf Paul Castle
Highland Council
Countryside Ranger
18 January 2010 North Berwick (East Lothian) One freshly dead, with such sharp teeth and down turned mouth with big domey head. About 30 - 40 cm long.  Claire Oswald
17 January 2010 Belhaven Bay, Dunbar One, dead.  Sophie Bancroft
17 January 2010 Alnmouth, Northumberland One on the high tide line and hidden in seaweed and covered in sand Jon Stacey
17 January 2010 Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire Three alive in the shallows and returned to deeper water. Healthy fish of 1.5 lb.
Mike Sewell
16 January 2010 Staffin, at the north end of the Isle of Skye, Scotland One dead. 20 inches long and weighed 1.9 kg. Ryan Firth
9 January 2010 North Berwick (East Lothian) One dead on the strandline Simon Poole
(North Berwick)
4 January 2010 Beach between Seaburn and Whitburn (Sunderland) About 30 cm long and being eaten by a Herring Gull Robin Peel
1 January 2010 Blakeney Harbour One, just alive Henry Randall

January 2010
Nineteen Ray's Bream, Brama brama, were discovered on the beach at Redcar

19 -30 December 2009
Over the Christmas period (I have found 15 dead Ray's Bream, Brama brama, (see photo) along the North Yorkshire coast between Saltburn by the Sea and Redcar. This seems something out of the ordinary, we have NE and northerly winds over the past two weeks which has produced a stormy sea. I have never noticed these fish before.

Report and Photograph by Bill Ashton-Wickett

November 2009
One or more Ray's Bream, Brama brama, were seen stranded ashore between Redcar Beach and the South Gare (at the River Tees) almost every time I went there, ( which was about twice a week). They were all dead, but fresh, having usually lost only parts of their heads. I didn't measure them but they seemed about 75 cm long.

Report by John Elders
Filey Beach
Photograph by Vic Mackinder
Photograph by Jeff Blincow
Photograph by Mike S. Hodgson
Date Location Notes Discoverer
28 December 2009 Dornoch Beach, Sutherland, NE coast of Scotland One, dead John Tuach
28 December 2009 Redcar About a dozen of these washed up on the high tide line, most had been partially eaten Anne Drummond
21 December 2009 Hauxley Haven, Northumberland One, dead Jeff McIntosh
19 December 2009 Portobello Beach, Edinburgh One, dead Tony Hunt
11 December 2009 Cocklawburn Beach, near Berwick One, dead Max Manning 
9 December 2009 Filey Beach (North Yorkshire) Several, dead Vic Mackinder
5 December 2009 West Runton, Norfolk 50 cm (estimated) including the tail.
I was rockpooling at low-tide. It was found flapping around in the rockpools. I moved it into some deeper water, but it lay on its side twitching every few seconds.
Jeff Blincow
5 December 2009 10 nm north of Fraserburgh, N E Scotland We caught about 30  Wayne Sinclair
1 December 2009  North Ronaldsay, Orkney Islands One, dead   Image Jennifer Batten
1 December 2009 Ross Back Sands, Northumberland (NU 146379) One, dead. Following two days of strong NNE winds and high seas. It appeared to have very sharp teeth (!) and was probably about 12-15 inches from nose to tail.  Mike S. Hodgson
29 November 2009 Wells next Sea in North Norfolk Three dead, all around 3-4 lb David Bracken
29 November 2009 Sheringham One, dead Carl Brook
28 November 2009 Fife Coast at Largo Bay One, dead Therese Alampo
27 November 2009 Between Brancaster Golf Club House and Titchwell Fort Fifteen fish John
27 November 2009 Beach of Burghead Bay approximately 0.5 mile from Burghead The fish was about 25 cm long (nose to tip of tail fin). Apart from having its eye removed (I didn't turn the fish over so it may have been eyes!) - presumably by Gulls or Crows that frequent this stretch of the beach - it appeared to be in reasonably good condition. The most striking features were the deeply notched tail fin, the trigger like dorsal fin and the protruding lower jaw with a fine set of sharp teeth within. The fish was silver coloured overall. Bob Johnson
26 November 2009 Between Brancaster Golf Club House and Titchwell Fort Nine in various states of being eaten John
19 November 2009 Hornsea Beach, Yorkshire One, dead 
Mervin Nethercoat
19 November 2009 Redcar Beach One alive and one dead, approximately 3 and 4 pounds in weight Ken Nunn
18 November 2009 Cleethorpes One, dead Sean
4 November 2009 Burray, Orkney (Scapa Flow) Approx 450mm (18").
I released it into deeper water, whereupon it circled around and came back to the tidal edge again. Again, I released it into the deeper water and this time it made slow but steady progess into the bay and I eventually lost sight of its dorsal fin.

11 September 2009
Although a large and striking fish, as I am no expert, and not having my camera with me, after a brief search on the internet I assumed it was some sort of tuna and then forgot about it. I remember, it was a good 20 to 30 cm long. On opening the Berwick Advertiser, I realised that the stranded fish I had seen on Cheswick Beach was a Ray's Bream, Brama brama.

Report by Stephen Block
21 January 2009
This Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found on Broughty Ferry Beach, Dundee, east Scotland. 
Report and Photograph by Steph Gauld
Jake Gould and the Ray's Bream

20 January 2009
I found what I believe to be a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, on the beach at Montrose, Tayside, Scotland, just north of the South Esk estuary at 9.10 pm (about one hour before high tide). Although the fish was dead it looked very fresh, with no signs of decomposition or bird damage. Measured against my walking boots I would estimate its length to be approximately 55 cm.

Report by Bob Condie

13 January 2009
I found another dead Ray's Bream, Brama brama, on Largo Bay beach at the mouth of Cockle Burn, Largo Bay, Fife, Scotland, and I also spotted a picture of one in a fairly recent copy of the local paper saying a dead fish was found on Leven Beach.

Reports by Peter Nimmo
Photograph by Chris Fairchild
Photograph by Kev Tomlinson
Photograph by Rupert Smith
Date Location Notes Discoverer
5 January 2009 Cockenzie Harbour on the south shore of the Firth of Forth Being eaten by gulls. Colin Davison
2 January 2009 Lossiemouth Beach in Morayshire, Scotland  One fish Douglas George
1 January 2009 Sheringham The fish was badly decomposed, and was being pecked at by various birds. Rupert Smith
29 December 2008 Marske Beach between Saltburn and Redcar (north east coast) One fish John Himsworth
27 December 2008 Redcar Approximately 10 fish which had been washed up and were within 15 metres of each other. Three of these fish had the appearance of Sea Trout of approx. 2 lb weight but the others were all of a species I did not recognise. All of these fish looked as though they had been on the beach no more than 24 hours. A further 100 metres along the shore I came across another fish of the same  species I could not identify earlier, this fish was floundering on its side in the shallows and was a bright silver with prominent reddish eyes. I managed to lift this fish by its tail and get it into deeper water where I was able to view it for some time swimming on its side through the surf against the incoming tide. After checking your web site I am reasonably certain that the fish I could not identify were Ray's Bream. I would estimate the length of all the Bream as 50 cm snout to tip of tail with the one I tailed weighing 2-3 lb. Peter Rogan
25 December 2008 Trusthorpe, Lincolnshire The one pictured measured approximately 45 cm. Kev Tomlinson
23 December 2008 North Bay beach, Scarborough At least four specimens over the couple of weeks beginning  23 December 2008. A fellow early-morning dog-walker said he'd seen two a few days before that. Chris Fairchild

18 December 2008
My trawler caught a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, at mouth of the River Thames. It measured 50 cm (20 in) long and weighed 1.65 kg. This fish was a new species for the River Thames.

Report by Paul Gilson
Link to the Photograph by Leon Roskilly

Date Location Notes Discoverer
14 December 2008 Hartlepool on North Gare Sands at 
NZ 541 271
Approx. 0.5m based on my size 9 feet! 
a second dead Rays Bream was found a week on Sunday 7 December 2008 at Seaton Sands NZ 536 287; this was one slightly smaller in the same circumstances.
Steve Wilkinson
12 December 2008 Mundesley Beach, Norfolk  Two about three weeks ago and then today three of around 3 lb Crispian Emberson
Heritage Destination Consulting Ltd.
6-7 December 2008 17 washed up on the coast of Texel (the largest and most southerly of the islands in the Wadden Sea), Netherlands From Noordhollands Dagblad (only in the Dutch language) Richard Fordham
7 December 2008 Heacham 100 meters south 
of our beach house (Kala Juga, 1b North Beach)
One fish Richard Brown
Early December 2008 Aldbrough Beach, East Yorkshire One fish Report by
Doug Herdson
6 December 2008 Aberdeen Beach, east Scotland In vicinity of large top tide debris of kelp seaweed, sea urchins, clams and 
razor fish, all scavenged by birds
Andrew Jones
4 December 2008 Ryhope Beach, Sunderland One fish Ian Colling
30 November 2008 North of Seahouses (Northumberland One fish John Hanvey (Station mechanic) 
Seahouses Lifeboat Station
30 November 2008

1 December 2008

 Sea Palling Caught in a beach trammel net set behind the reefs at Sea Palling
1.7 kg

I saw a similar sized fish
washed up on the shore. The gulls had started to eat it!

Fred Page
30 November 2008 Salthouse, Norfolk I caught it with my hands in the surf! Dr Matt Lawes
29 November 2008 At the mouth of Cockle Burn, Ruddons Point, Largo Bay, Fife, Scotland One fish Peter Nimmo
22 November 2008 Salthouse, Norfolk a) Very long caudal fin 
b) slightly protruding lower jaw 
c) row of very sharp teeth 
We returned the fish to the water and it appeared to swim away.
Simon & Michelle Hollidge
Late November 2008 Between Whitby and Sandsend One fish Ian Smith
15 November 2008 Burnham Overy Staithe, Holkham side of Scoult Head Island The fish was in very good condition and was approx. 50 cm long Karen Crate

The Ray's Bream, Brama brama, is a most interesting fish. It is an oceanic Lusitanian species (found in mid water off the Atlantic coast of Spain, Portugal and NW Africa) that turns up occasionally in British waters; but it is not a climate change species, it has done so for many years. The odd one is found around the south and southwest coasts, but when they have irruption years (e.g. 1967-68) they appear to sweep up and around the west of Ireland and into the North Sea, appearing in some numbers. Last year was such a year, with around eight tonnes of them being caught off the west coast of Ireland in the late summer, fish turning up around Aberdeen in September and being found all the way down to Lowestoft by December. There do not seem to be so many this year, but quite a few both here and in the Netherlands. I am trying to keep records of these and hope to analyse their patterns over the last fifty years."

Comment by Doug Herdson
Marine Fish Information Services
94 Dunstone View
Plymouth. PL9 8QW
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 405155
Mobile: 07910 078599
23 November 2008
A Ray's Bream,Brama brama, was discovered on the beach between Marske and Saltburn, North Yorkshire, following heavy seas. The colourful wellies are in the photograph for scale, adult size 6 - not a childs! 
Report & Photograph by Paul Anderson

16 November 2008

I was fishing a match on Hopton Beach near Lowestoft, Norfolk, on Sunday and whilst fishing I had a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, chasing something in the breakers it flew off the top of the wave and stranded itself on the beach it went absolutely mad, so I grabbed it by the tail fin but it was too powerful to hold so as it dropped the fish in a small amount of water I kicked it clear of the water. It was the most colourful fish I had ever seen with metallic blues and reds round the top and the body was a bar of silver. When it died all the colours went and it went grey were all the colour. I had already filleted it as I new it was a pelagic fish and thought it would eat well. It was excellent I now want some more. It weighed 3 lb 4 oz.

Report and Photographs by Martin Peters
15 November 2008
This Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was washed up on North Blyth beach in Northumberland. 
Report by Derek Burton (in the photograph)

9 November 2008
The remains of three Ray's Bream, Brama brama, were discovered washed up on the beach at Withernsea, East Yorkshire. Two were intact but the third had been scavenged. The species was identified to me by a fisherman on the beach and confirmed by photographs on this site.

Report by Robin Barnfather (Withernsea)

1 November 2008
Robert Mellors discovered a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found after a storm in the North Sea in amongst a large mound of seaweed washed up on the East Beach at Dunbar, East Lothian, south east Scotland.  It measured approximately 44 cm by 28 cm and it weighed approximately 1.5 - 2 kg.

Report by June Small
Ray's Bream (Photograph by David Taylor)30 October 2008
I found a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, on Cleethorpes beach between Wonderland and Grimsby Docks. As you can see the Gulls have had a good go at it.
 Report and Photograph by David Taylor (Cleethorpes)

16 February 2008

A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found at Seahouses, Northumberland, on the North Sea coast of England. It was found dead on the beach by a visitor who brought it to us for identification. It was approximately 55 cm long and weighed about 1.5kg.

Report and Photograph by Karen Wilkin (Swallow Fish Ltd)

5 January 2008
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found in the surf at Weybourne, Norfolk.

Report by Tony Friend on the Norfolk Seaquest Yahoo Group

Chronological listings with the earliest at the top up to the end of 2007

November 2005

The laterally compressed fish was washed up dead on a beach at Heacham, Norfolk. It measured 51 cm in total length and 47 cm without the distinctive long caudal fin. I have identified it as a Ray's Bream, Brama brama.

Report and Photograph by Helen Not

12 June 2006
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was caught and landed in an eel-bow-net at Skalderviken, south-west Sweden by Hasse Edelin. The fish measured 53 cm and weighed 1.5 kg.
Hasse Edelin with the fish Brama brama (Photograph by Kent Andersson)
Hasse Edelin with the Ray's Bream, Brama brama.
Report and Photograph by Kent Andersson

There have been several reports of this pelagic fish washed up dead on North Sea coasts over the winter of 2005-6.
Ray's Bream Discussion and Extra Information (Link)
28 December 2006
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was caught  by angler Sören Linnemann, off north-east Denmark. It weighed 1.2 kg with a total length (including caudal fin) of 50 cm. 
Report and Photograph by Kent Andersson

26 August 2007
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, (TL 458mm FL 380mm) ~ found on the beach at St Brelade's Bay (S Coast of Jersey, CI) early in the day ~ it was recognised straight away as something unusual by a spearfisherman who went to see what gulls were pecking over as he walked up the beach, also dumped were a number of winged ray frames, so I think it's fair to say the fish was probably net caught from a small boat not too far away wasn't in condition good enough to warrant a photograph, but was fresh & without doubt a Ray's Bream ~ the first one I am aware of in Jersey & possibly the Channel Islands?

Report by Andrew Syvret
on the Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group

4 October 2007
Ray's Bream, Brama brama, appear to have been relatively common off the west coast of Ireland this year. They are requently taken by Spanish registered long-liners while targeting Hake. Almost five tonnes were taken off the NW coast and landed into Killybegs by a single vessel.
On 18 October 2007, a further two tonnes were landed.

Report by Quigley Declan
on the Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group

7 October 2007
In the last two or three weeks three Ray's Bream, Brama brama, have been caught in the Moray Firth and one was found dead on the beach near Aberdeen on Sunday. This species has invasion years when ten or hundreds turn up in the North Sea.

Report by Doug Herdson (National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth)
 on the Marine Wildlife of the North-east Atlantic Ocean Group

22 October 2007

Ray's Bream (Photograph by Mark Missin)

A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found dead on the strandline at Snettisham RSPB, Norfolk. (Map reference TF 646 327)

Report & Photograph by Mark Missin
Eastern Daily News Report

26 October 2007
We discovered a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, washed up on the beach at Sea Palling in Norfolk. We had trouble finding out what it was but another Rays Bream has been washed up at Snettisham near Hunstanton in Norfolk according to our local paper the Eastern Daily Press sometime this week (the picture and description especially the teeth, are exactly the same).

Report by Jacqui and Katie Morphew (Norfolk)

2 November 2007
I found the Ray's Bream, Brama brama, flapping in the shallows near to the Cromarty Nigg ferry slipway at about 1.15 pm. I didn't know what it was, but had a good look at it before tossing it into deeper water - it was extremely silvery and had a very pronounced sickle-shaped tail. Not knowing that it was a deep water fish, and therefore presumably dying, I was surprised when it immediately appeared at the sea edge again. I had another look over it to memorise its characteristics, then threw it about 15 yards out into the sea, whereupon it vanished.
I'm very ignorant about fish species, but have a good visual memory, so was able to find this fish in the Observer Book of Sea Fishes, and then confirm identification by doing a search online.

Report by Colin Dunn

Chris Holden with the Ray's Bream on Cleethorpes beach4 November 2007
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was discovered by our Dalmation dog flapping around on Cleethorpes beach (near Grimsby) at low tide. It died shortly afterwards. Its identity was confirmed by its row of sharp teeth.

Report by Andrea Critchley and Joan Eddom

5 November 2007
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was identified by staff at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary after a chalet attendant found it on the town's beach. Up to 20 in (50 cm) in size with sharp teeth, the fish are common near Iceland.

BBC News Report

Early November
More reports have come in of Ray's Bream, Brama brama, washed up on the beach in Norfolk. Four  reports via Hunstanton's Sea Life Centre show individuals washed up at Snettisham, Heacham and Hunstanton.

Report by Helen Not on Norfolk Seaquest

10 November 2007
Brama brama (Photograph by Derryck Greenwood) Brama brama (Photograph by Derryck Greenwood)

The fresh Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found on Harlech Beach, Gwynedd, north-west Wales (Grid ref: SH 574 317). It weighed approximately 1.5 to 2 kg and was about 50 cm long. It was left stranded dead on the beach after ebb tide had receded for about an hour.

Report and Photographs by Derryck Greenwood

8 December 2007

Whilst walking my dogs on the main beach at Burntisland (on the River Forth), in Fife, Scotland, I came across this fish washed up on the beach. It was 46 cm long and weighed just under 2 kg and had a vicious set of teeth.
After some internet investigation I identified it as a Ray's Bream, Brama brama.
Report by Brian Gorton
9 December 2007
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found on the Fife coast at Largo. It was identified through an internet search.  Long caudal fin, sharp teeth, tail shape and protruding jaw all helped with ID.
Report by Therese Alampo

19 December 2007

Ray's Bream (Photograph by Mike Matthams)
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found dead on the sandy beach near the dunes at Wells next Sea in North Norfolk around midday.
Report and Photograph by Mike Matthams

22 December 2007
A Ray's Bream, Brama brama, was found washed up at Cley Beach, Norfolk. The fish was found by Steve and Mandy Frary whilst on a walk there. It was very fresh and weighed in at 2½ lb.

Report by Helen Nott on Norfolk Seaquest

23 December 2007
Whilst bait digging at Sheringham, Norfolk, a visitor brought a fish he had just found on the beach. It was a Ray's Bream, Brama brama, about 45 cm long. I have seen them a few times many years ago when several came ashore.

  Report by Paul Lee
BMLSS Sea Breams

BMLSS Strandline Reports
Long-finned Bream Taractichthys longipinnis
Ray's Bream Brama brama

Angling Records:
BREAM (Ray's) (Brama brama)
B 6 3 13 2 829 1978 L/Cpl J Holland, Barra Head, Scotland
S 7 15 12 3 621 1967 G Walker, Crimdon Beach, Hartlepool

National Federation of Sea Anglers

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