Abramis brama | Common Bream | Bran fionnuisce



Conservation status

Least Concern

First reported in the wild



Non-native species - Low risk of Impact

Irish status


Introduction pathways - 1

Release in Nature

Introduction pathways subclass - 1

Fishing in the wild

Invasive score


NAPRA Ireland risk assessed


Species Biology


Freshwater fish, 30-50cm in length (max 80cm), dark browny grey on dorsal surface, bronze/silver on the sides, yellowish silver on the belly (Maitland, 2004). Deep, laterally compressed body with 51-60 cycloid scales along the lateral line, dorsal fin with 8-10 rays, 24-30 on rays on anal fin (Maitland, 2004).


Feed primarily on the benthos, on Gammarus spp., insect larvae and nymphs, Assellus spp., oligochaetes and molluscs (Kennedy & Fitzmaurice, 1968; Maitland, 2004). Classified as "non-native non-benign" in the Irish Red list of Fish, Amphibians and Reptiles, meaning it is a fish species that is thought to impact on the ecology of water bodies in which it is present (King et al., 2011).


Inland surface waters


Communal spawning May to June once temperatures reach approximately 15°C, primarily on emergent vegetation (Kennedy & Fitzmaurice, 1968) 100,000 - 500,000 eggs produced per female with eggs hatching after 7-10 days (Kennedy & Fitzmaurice, 1968; Maitland, 2004).

Pathway and vector description

Introduced to Ireland pre -1700 to establish a fishery in the wild (King et al., 2011).

Mechanism of impact


Broad environment


Habitat description

Generally found in deep, slow flowing rivers and lakes shoaling near the bottom they relatively intolerant of pollution (King et al., 2011; Maitland, 2004)

Species group


Native region



World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Established - Widespread & Locally abundant. While no population estimate exists for Ireland, it is common in the Shannon and largely absent from the south east of the country (King et al., 2011).

Native distribution

Native in Europe from the south east of England to the Caspian Sea.

Temporal change

Date of first record category


Fifty year date category


Records submitted to Data Centre in 2021

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How can you help

Report any sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre.



King, J.L., Marnell, F., Kingston, N., Rosell, R., Boylan, P., Caffrey, J.M., Fitzpatrick, Ú., Gargan, P.G., Kelly, F.L., O’Grady, M.F., Poole, R., Roche, W.K. & Cassidy, D. (2011) Ireland Red List No. 5: Amphibians, Reptiles & Freshwater Fish. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dublin, Ireland. Kennedy, M., & Fitzmaurice, P. (1968). The biology of the bream Abramis brama (L) in Irish waters. In Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section B: Biological, Geological, and Chemical Science (pp. 95-157). Royal Irish Academy. Maitland, P. (2004). Keys to the freshwater fish of Britain and Ireland, with notes on their distribution and ecology. The Freshwater Biological Association, Cumbria, UK.