The Vendace fish (Coregonus albula) is one of three whitefish species native to the British Isles. The preferred habitat of the Vendace fish is deep cold lakes, where it feeds on planktonic crustaceans, such as copepods. The Vendace fish is one of the UK’s rarest freshwater fish. The Vendace fish is a small, streamlined and slim fish with a bluish green back, a white belly and silvery flanks.
Their fins are grey in colour becoming darker towards the margins. It has large eyes, a relatively small mouth and an adipose fin. Other common names for this species include ‘whitefish’ and ‘European cisco’ in England and ‘Fendas’ in Welsh.
The Vendace fish has a life span of approximately six years and it is non-migratory. The Vendace fish is a declining species and now only found in Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwentwater in Cumbria, both lakes containing populations of several tens of thousands of fish, although the population in Bassenthwaite is believed to be declining.
The Vendace fish is listed on the IUCN Red Data List 2000 as Data Deficient (DD), Annex III of the Bern Convention, Annex V of the EC Habitats and Species Directive, Schedule 3 of the Conservation Regulations 1994 and Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.