Twaite shad

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Due to the rarity of this species, the shad (Alosa fallax) is subject to substantial legal protection.

Twaite Shad


  • listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list of Threatened Rare and endangered in the UK.
  • UKBAP Priority Species Species
  • Twaite shad is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention and Annex IVa of the EC Habitats Directive. It is also protected under schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) Regulations 1994 and schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • Due to the rarity of this species the shad is subject to substantial legal protection. It is illegal to kill, injure or take a shad from the sea under Section 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)

British record: 2lb 12oz (British record committee 2015)

Lifespan: four to seven years

Appearance: Twaite shad are very similar to Allis shad. They are members of the herring family and enter freshwater only to spawn. They have a silvery flattened typical fish-shaped body. The Twaite shad has a more darkened back than the Allis shad. A thin fatty membrane covering the front and rear parts of the eye and the lower jaw fits into a notch in the upper jaw. They have a deeply forked tail with large scales at the base. Twaite Shad have a number of dark spots behind the gill cover, sometimes up to 10 spots. They have an anal fin ray count of 19-23.

Read the forgotten story of the shad

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Last date edited: 18 February 2020