Fish. According to one authority, 45 species of fish are found in the inland waters of Palestine. Many more live in the Mediterranean Sea. But the Bible gives no details on any specific species of fish.
Fish, just like other animals, were divided into clean and unclean categories. Fish with fins and scales were considered clean, and they made a popular Sabbath meal. Unclean fish included catfish, eels, and probably sharks and lampreys, as well as shellfish. The Hebrews also considered whales and porpoises as fish, since they lived in the sea.
Fishing was a major industry among the Jewish people. Jerusalem had a Fish Gate, and presumably a fish market. Fish were caught with nets (Hab. 1:15), hooks (Is. 19:8; Matt. 17:27), and harpoons and spears (Job 41:7). The catch was preserved by salting and drying or storing in salt water.
The Bible contains many references to fish and fishing. (Habakkuk 1:14-17) compares captive Israel to helpless fish gathered into a dragnet by her enemies. Jesus, on the other hand, called his disciples to become “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19; Mark 1:17). Since the time of the early church, the fish has been a symbol of Christianity. The Greek word for fish– ichthus– is an acrostic for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.”