Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Sailfish/Atlantic sailfish/Indo Pacific sailfish


Name
The Atlantic sailfish, Istiophorus albicans, is a species of marine fish in the family Istiophoridae of the order Perciformes. 

Location
Albania, Algeria, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua Barb, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension I. Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bosnia Herzg, Br Virgin Is, Brazil, Cameroon, Canary Is, Cape Verde, Cayman Is, Colombia, Congo, Congo Rep, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Curaçao I. Cyprus, Dominica, Dominican Rp, Egypt, Eq Guinea, Fr Guiana, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Italy,Jamaica, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madeira Is, Malta, Martinique, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, Morocco, Namibia, NethAntilles, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russian Fed, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome Prn, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, St Helena, St Kitts Nev, St Vincent, Suriname, Syria, Togo, Trinidad Tob, Tunisia, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, Uruguay, US Virgin Is, USA, Venezuela, West Sahara.

Spawning ground/season
Spawning occurs from January to December in Guinea and Eastern Mediterranean Sea. April to September in Cuba and USA located offshore beyond the 100 fathom isobath

Reproduction
Dioecism as in females and males are separated by gender, external fertilization and are nonguarders of their eggs, open water/substratum egg scatterers, female may shed up to 4.8 million eggs in three batches during one spawning season, migratory in nature like salmon either following diet or reproductive needs, Sailfish grow extremely quickly, reaching a length of 4-5 feet in just a single year. They can live as long as 16 years

Habitat
Subtropical 21°C - 28°C, pelagic swimmers, found in Aegean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Benguela Current, Canary Current, Caribbean Sea, East Brazil Shelf, Guinea Current, Gulf of Mexico, Iberian Coastal, Mediterranean Sea, North Brazil Shelf, Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Patagonian Shelf, South Brazil Shelf, Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf.

Appearance
The sailfish has two dorsal and anal fins. Its first dorsal fin is large and fan-like, being much taller than the width of the body. This large fin runs most of the length of the body and provides the inspiration for the name, sailfish. The first anal fin is set far back on the body, and the second dorsal and anal fins roughly mirror one another in size and shape, with both being short in comparison to the sail-like first dorsal fin. The pectoral and pelvic fins are long with the pelvic fins almost twice as long and nearly reaching the origin of the first anal fin. The pelvic fins have one spine and multiple soft rays fused together, The sailfish bears a pair of grooves along each side of its body into which the pelvic fins can be depressed, greatly decreasing the fish’s drag through the water at speed. The strongly forked tail fin has double keels and caudal notches on the upper and lower surfaces, which act as hydrofoils, Body colour is variable depending upon the fish’s level of excitement. The body is dark blue dorsally and white with brown spots ventrally. About 20 vertical bars, each consisting of many light blue dots, are present on each side. The fins are all generally blackish blue. The anal fin base is white. The first dorsal fin (the sail) contains many small black dots, which are more common toward the anterior end of the fin, sailfish’s body is sparsely covered with embedded scales, each ending in a blunt point.

Diet
Greater argonaut, neon flying squid, red flying squid, akaika, and red squid, bar jack, Pacific crevalle jack, Blue runner, Longfin crevalle jack, Blacktip trevally, Crevalle jack, Giant trevally, Horse-eye jack, Black jack, Bluefin trevally, Brassy trevally, False scad, Round scad, Senegal jack, Bigeye trevally, Tille trevally, Cocinero, little tunny, halfbeaks, garfish, ballyhoos, pinfish, needlefish, largehead hairtail, flyingfish, surgeonfish, Atlantic pomfret or Ray's Bream, mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish, flying gurnard or Robin fish, porcupinefish, porcupinefish, snake mackerel, squirrelfish, snaketooth fish, mackerels, tunas, and bonitos, ribbonfish, blanket octopus, Sardines 

Predators
mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish, Brown Noddy, Wideawake Tern.

Edible 
Utilized fresh, smoked and frozen, also used for sashimi and sushi, eaten broiled and baked.

 __________________________________Traits___________________________________
One of the physical traits separating the Istiophorus platypterus to the Istiophorus albicans are the number of Anal spines and Pelvic spines of each individual, platypterus have 2 Anal spines and no Pelvic spines and albicans have no Anal spines and 1 Pelvic spine ,other than location that these fish are found in, there are studies shown that these two species are interbreeding and possibly a 3rd spieces will rise in the near future. unfortunately I could not identify the photo's of the given species in this post as the angle and/or quality is always disrupted in the photography , as you can see from the time spent on this post I'v fallen into the depths, if you can identify the photography in this post please mention it with reason, so I can rearrange the photo's 
thanks in advance.  
________________________________________________________________________

Name
The Indo-Pacific sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus, is a sailfish native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans

Location
Admiralty Is, Amer Samoa, Andaman Is, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chagos Is, Chile, China Main, Christmas I. Colombia, Comoros, Cook Is, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Easter I. Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Fiji, Fr Polynesia, Galapagos Is, Guam, Guatemala, Hawaii, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kenya,Kiribati, Korea D P Rp, Korea Rep, Kuwait, Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Marquesas Is, Marshall Is, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Mozambique, Myanmar, N Marianas, Namibia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Niue, Oman, Pakistan,Palau, Panama, Papua N Guin, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Russian Fed, Ryukyu Is, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Is, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tahiti, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuamotu Is, Tuvalu, Untd Arab Em, US Virgin Is, USA, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Wake I. Yemen.

Spawning grounds/seasons
Spawing occures from January to December in the tropical and sub tropical waters of the pacific ocean 

Reproduction
Dioecism as in males and females are seperated by gender,external fertilization and are nonguarders of their eggs ,openwater substratum egg scatterers ,spawning throughout the year in tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific with peak spawning occurring in the respective local summer months. Spawning occurs with males and females swimming in pairs or with two or three males chasing a single female. The ripe ovarian eggs are about 0.85 mm in diameter and have a single oil globule, there are no structures on the vitalize membrane and the egg is transparent. Eggs shed from captured female in the Indian Ocean averaged 1.304 mm in diameter.

Habitat
 Oceanic epipelagic species usually found above the thermocline. Most densely distributed in waters close to coasts and islands, Indo-Pacific tropical and temperate waters, western Pacific, eastern Pacific, western Indian Ocean, eastern Indian Ocean. Entered Mediterranean Sea from Red sea via Suez Canal. Highly migratory species. retaining the usage of Istiophorus platypterus for the Indo-Pacific sailfish and Istiophorus albicans for the Atlantic sailfish in recognition of the differences between them. Most likely schools by size. Undergoes spawning migrations in the Pacific.

Appearance
It is dark blue on top with about 20 bluish vertical bars, brown-blue laterally, silvery white underbelly, upper jaw elongated in a form of a spear, first dorsal fin greatly enlarged in the form of a sail and the membrane blue black with numerous dark spots, its front squared off, highest at its midpoint, pelvic fins very narrow, reaching almost to the anus, with 1 spine and 2 rays, body covered with embedded scales with 1 or 2 blunt points blunt at end, lateral line curved above pectoral fin, then straight to base of tail. 

Diet
Anchovies, Bullet Tuna, Frigate Tuna, Mahi-mahi, Pompano dolphinfish, pufferfish, boxfish, sardines, ribbonfish, Conger conger, Brazilian Sardinella, blue runner, flying fish, Porcupinefish, Bigeye scad, Dussumier's halfbeak, Rabbitfish or spinefoots, Round scad, squid, octopi, Indo Pacific Sailfish are opportunistic predators 

Edible 
Utilized fresh, smoked and frozen, also used for sashimi and sushi, eaten broiled and baked.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Striped Marlin


Name
The striped marlin, Tetrapturus audax, is a species of marlin found in tropical to temperate Indo-Pacific oceans not far from the surface. It is a large commercial game fish with a record weight (at 1982) of 190 kg, and a maximum length of 420 cm. The striped marlin is a predator that hunts during the day from close to the surface to about 100 metres or so.  

Appearance 
No dorsal spines, Dorsal soft rays 42-48, No anal spines, Anal soft rays 18 - 24. Body elongated and compressed, medium sized beak on the upper jaw, two dorsal fins, the height of the first progressively downsizing to the second, short anteriorly, taller in the middle, then becoming shorter posteriorly, pectoral fins falcate and flexible with 18 to 22 rays, body densely covered by small embedded scales with 1 or 2 bluntish points, back dark blue, belly silvery, membrane of first dorsal fin blue black without dark spots, flanks with about 20 bluish stripes. Blue-black above and silvery white below, with about 15 rows of cobalt-colored stripes, 1st dorsal fin dark blue, other fins dark brown sometimes with a tinge of dark blue, anal fin bases with a tinge of silvery white. One of the most interesting things about the striped marlin is that it can actually change colors. When a marlin gets excited, usually while feeding or courting, its stripes may light up from regular blue to a phosphorescent blue or lavender. After a marlin dies, it also develops conspicuous stripes along the sides of its body.

Location
Amer Samoa, Andaman Is, Angola, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chagos Is, Chile, Christmas I. Colombia, Comoros, Cook Is, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Fiji, Fr Polynesia, Galapagos Is, Guam, Guatemala, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Indonesia,Iran, Japan, Kenya, Kermadec Is, Kiribati, Korea Rep, Kuril Is, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Marquesas Is, Marshall Is, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Mozambique, Myanmar, N Marianas, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua N Guin, Peru, Philippines, Reunion, Ryukyu Is, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Is, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tahiti, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuamotu Is, Tuvalu, USA, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Wake I. Yemen,

Habitat
Epipelagic and oceanic species, usually found above the thermocline. Generally inhabit Subtropical 20°C - 25°C waters. Most dominant and widely distributed of all billfishes. Their abundance increases with distance from the continental shelf. Usually seen close to shore only where deep drop-offs occur. Mostly solitary, but forms small schools by size during the spawning season

Spawning grounds/seasons
Spawning occurs in Indonesia from January to February located around the Banda and Timor Seas, March and May in the Bay of Bengal Sea, May to June in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, October to December in the Northeastern Indian Ocean, September only in Australia located around Southern Coral Sea, November to December in Southwest Pacific Ocean, December to January in the Western Indian Ocean and May to June in the Western North Pacific Ocean

Reproduction
Dioecism as in males and females are separated by gender,external fertilization , non guarders of their eggs, open water/substratum egg scatterers, Larvae are most abundant in the respective local early summers. The seasonal occurrence of mature females coincides with that of the larvae. The lower temperature limit in the distribution of larvae is approximately 24°C, both in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Spawning sites are between 10°S and 30°S in Southwest Pacific and 10°S and 20°S in northeastern Indian Ocean.

Diet
Snouted lancetfish, Australian salmon, Bullet tuna, Pacific and Atlantic saury also known by the name mackerel pike, anchovies, cornetfish, Snake mackerel , Veined Squid , Cape Hope Squid or Chokka , European Squid , Wellington flying squid , argonauts , White trevally , blue pilchard,Australian pilchard, blue-bait, Californian pilchard, Chilean sardine, Japanese pilchard, Pacific sardine, and Southern African pilchard. chub mackerel , Pacific jack mackerel 


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Leatherjacket fish/skipjack/leather jack



Name
The leatherjacket fish, skipjack or leather jack, Oligoplites saurus, is a jack and member of the Carangidae family. Leather jack may also refer to other members of the Carangidea family, such as the pilot fish. Leatherjack may also refer to the smooth leatherjacket, a member of the Monacanthidae family.


Location
Anguilla, Antigua Barb, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Br Virgin Is, Brazil, Cayman Is, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao I. Dominica, Dominican Rp, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fr Guiana, Galapagos Is, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto, Saint Lucia, St Kitts, St Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad, Turks Caicos, Uruguay, US Virgin Is,USA, Venezuela.


Habitat 
Subtropical, Sublittoral areas where sunlight reaches the ocean floor, brackish waters, reef associated. 

Appearance
Dorsal spines 5 - 6, Dorsal soft rays 19-21, Anal spines 2-3, Anal soft rays 18 - 21. Body elongate and strongly compressed, posterior end of upper jaw reaching posterior rim of eye, upper jaw teeth small and villiformed , lower branch of first gill arch with 14 to 18 gill rakers, scales small visible needle-shaped and embedded in the skin, back is blue green, flanks and belly silvery to white sometimes with yellow or golden highlights, pectoral and caudal fins yellowish , Dorsal fin has 5 nearly separate spines "Caution- handle fish with care as 4-6 spines in front of the soft dorsal fin rays, 3-5 lower spines located infront of lower soft fin rays are like hypodermic needles covered with slime hidden in a concave which is irritable when it has punctured skin"   



Diet

Shrimp, Prawns, Herring, Scaled sardines, Anchovies, American silver perch.

Method of catching 
Small lures ,flies blue to silver in colour reflected work best , live fish. 

Edible 
Traditionally, the leather jacket has not been eaten, however recently with large scale farming of the fish, it has become a common fish at market. The fish has a mild oily taste similar to spanish mackerel or bluefish. occurrences of disease has been associated with the fish.




Spawning ground/season 
Max length 35.0 cm, common length 27.0 cm. High to minimum population doubling in less than 15 months , spawning grounds and seasons are unknown.




Monday, 23 April 2012

Almaco jack/Highfin jack

 
Name
Almaco jack (Seriola rivoliana) is a game fish of the family Carangidae, also known as Highfin Jack. They are in the same family as yellowtail and amberjack.

Location
Admiralty Is, Amer Samoa, Andaman Is, Anguilla, Antigua Barb, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Azores Is, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Br Virgin Is, Brazil, Cambodia, Caroline I., Cayman Is, Chagos Is, China Main, Colombia, Cook Is, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao I., Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Rp, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Fr Guiana, Galapagos Is, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kermadec Is, Kiribati, Korea Rep, Lord Howe I., Madeira Is, Malaysia, Maldives, Marquesas Is, Marshall Is, Martinique, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, N Marianas, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norfolk I., Ogasawara Is, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua N Guin, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Ryukyu Is, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Is, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Kitts Nev, St Vincent, Suriname, Tahiti, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tokelau, Tonga, Trindade Island, Trinidad Tob, Tuvalu, Uruguay, US Virgin Is, USA, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Wake I., Wallis Fut I.

Habitat
The Almaco jack is a pelagic species that can be found in small groups on slopes and off of reefs at depths from 5 to 160 metres (2.7 to 87 fathoms) They typically swim at depths ranging from 5–35 metres (16–115 ft). They visit wrecks more often than most other jacks. They remove skin-based parasites by rubbing against the rough skin of passing sharks. Almaco jack also rub against passing scuba divers because they mistake them for sharks.

Appearance
The Almaco jack has a less elongated, more flattened body than most jack species. Their dorsal fin and anal fins are elongated, and their outer edges have a definite sickle shape. The first rays of the Almaco dorsal fin's longest parts are nearly twice as long as the dorsal spines, also different from other jacks. Almaco jacks are generally dusky-colored with faint amber or olive stripes down their sides. Their upper bodies and lower fins are usually dark brown or dark blue-green. The belly is much lighter and appears brassy or lavender. The nuchal bar and most of the fins is dark on adults. Exceptions are the pelvic fins which are white on the ventral sides.

Diet
Boops boops, called the bogue. longspine snipefish, bellowfish, common bellowsfish, snipe-fish, spine trumpet fish, or trumpetfish. striped red mullet. porgies. Swallowtail seaperch. European pilchard. chub mackerel. Axillary wrasse. blue jack mackerel.

Method of Catching
Vertical Jigging, Artificial Lures, Live bait.

Edible
Almaco jack can cause a disease in humans called ciguatera through bioaccumulation of ciguatoxin produced by a microscopic organism called dinoflagellate. The flesh is thick and dense like tuna and can easily pass for white albacore if prepared as sushi.

Spawning ground/Season
They reach a typical length of 90 centimetres (35 in), sometimes reaching 160 centimetres (63 in) and 59.9 kilograms (132 lb). Spawning can occur at various times throughout the spring, summer and fall depending on latitude.


Monday, 2 April 2012

Skipjack Tuna/aku/arctic bonito/mushmouth/oceanic bonito/striped tuna/victor fish


Name
The skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis, is a medium-sized perciform fish in the tuna family, Scombridae. It is otherwise known as the aku, arctic bonitomushmouth, oceanic bonito, striped tuna, or victor fish. It grows up to 1 m (3 ft) in length. 
Location
Algeria, Amer Samoa, Andaman Is, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua Barb, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension I. Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Br Ind Oc Tr, Br Virgin Is, Brazil, Brunei Darsm, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Canary Is, Cape Verde, Cayman Is, Chagos Is, Chile, China Main, Christmas I. Cocos Is, Colombia, Comoros, Congo Dem Rep, Congo Rep, Cook Is, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Curaçao I. Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Rp, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eq Guinea, Fiji, Fr Guiana, Fr Polynesia, FranceGabon, Galapagos Island, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, GuineaBissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Johnston I. Jordan, Kenya, Kermadec Is, Kiribati, Korea Rep, Liberia, Madagascar, Madeira Is, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marquesas Is, Marshall Is, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, N Marianas, Namibia, Nauru, NethAntilles, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk I. Norway, Ogasawara Is, Oman, Pac Is Tr Tr, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua N Guin, PeruPhilippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Ryukyu Is, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Sao Tome Prn, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Is, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Helena, St Kitts Nev, St Vincent, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Tahiti, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad Tob, Tuamotu Is, Turkey, Turks Caicos , Tuvalu, UK, UK Engld Wal, Untd Arab Em, Uruguay, US Minor Is, US Virgin Is, USA, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Wake I. Wallis Fut I, Yemen.

Diet
Favored fishes in their diet are herrings, mackerels, lanternfish, flying fish, squid, butterfish, sand launce, sardines, needlefish, jellyfish and crustaceans. cannibalism is common.


Habitat
The skipjack tuna is an epipelagic fish, occurring in waters ranging in temperature from 58-86°F (14.7 to 30°C) Exhibit a strong tendency to school into shoals based upon their size in surface waters with birds, drifting objects, sharks, whales and may show a characteristic behavior like jumping, feeding, foaming during the day, diving down to depths of ~260m during the night.
Spawning Season/Ground
Larvae restricted to waters with surface temperatures of 15°C to 30°C. Maturing at 2 to 3 years old (40cm in length) Eggs and larvae are pelagic, Skipjack can have a life span as long as 8 - 12 years.

Appearance
The Skipjack Tuna is characterized by its "tuna-like" appearance that is dark blue on its back and silver on its flank and belly. It has a series of 4 - 6 horizontal-diagonal stripes along its upper sides, and no spots between the pelvic and pectoral fins. The Skipjack Tuna might be confused with the Black Skipjack, Eurhynnus lineatus which has 5 - 6 horizontal stripes along its upper sides but has distinguishing black spots or botches between its pelvic and pectoral fins; the Striped Bonito, Sarda orientalis 8 - 11 broken horizontal stripes along its sides, and no spots, and the Eastern Pacific Bonito, Sarda chilensis 5 - 6 oblique dark stripes on upper back and no spots.

Predators
Silvertip sharks, Whaler sharks, Dolphinfish, Black Marlin, Atlantic blue marlin, Shortfin Mako shark, Wahoo, Indo-Pacific blue marlin.


Method of catching
Also taken by trolling on light tackle using plugs, spoons, feathers, or strip bait Trolling at speeds of around 3-5 mph in the open ocean waters with skirted lures is the most productive method with blue, pink, white or orange small skirt lures works all the time also throwing small live baitfish near a floating object in the water causes them to go into a feeding frenzy.

Edible
It is an important commercial and game fish, usually caught using purse seine nets, and is sold fresh, frozen, canned, dried, salted, and smoked. Skipjack is considered to have "moderate" mercury contamination. As a result, pregnant women are advised against eating large quantities.

*feel free to leave a comment below.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Pacific halibut


Name
The Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) between 5 and 10 pounds (2.3-4.5kg) are known locally as “chickens” those of 10-60 pounds (4.5-27.2kg) are called "mediums" and over 60 pounds as "large". The halibut in the weight group over 80 pounds (36.3kg) are sometimes called "whales". Weights are for head-off.
Location
Cobb Seamount, Arctic Ocean, Beaufort Sea, California Current, Chukchi Sea, East Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Kuroshio Current, Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk, West Bering Sea. The Pacific halibut, Hippoglossus stenolepis, is found on the continental shelf of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. Fishing for the Pacific halibut is mostly concentrated in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea, off the West coast of Canada. Small halibut catches are reported in coastal Washington, Oregon, and California. Pacific halibut is broken up to ten regularity management areas.
Habitat
Halibut is a demersal species that live on or near the ocean floor generally found on the continental shelf in north temperate waters. Its distribution, both in the Pacific and the Atlantic, tends to be within bottom water temperatures ranging from 3-8°C. Most halibut in the Pacific are found in waters from 10 fathoms.

Appearance
Pacific halibut have diamond-shaped bodies. They are more elongated than most flatfishes, the width being about 1/3 of the length. There is a high arch in the lateral line over the pectoral fin, and it has a lunate, or crescent shaped tail, which is different from other flat fishes. Small scales are embedded in the skin. Halibut have both eyes on their dark or upper side of the body. The color on the dark side varies, but tends to assume the coloration of the ocean bottom. The underside is lighter, appearing more like the sky from below. This color adaptation allows halibut to avoid detection by both prey and predator. 
Diet
Being strong swimmers, halibut are able to eat a large variety of fishes including cod, turbot, Alaska pollock or walleye pollock, and some invertebrates such as octopus, Tanner crab, rhinoceros crabpygmy rock crab ,flathead sole and shrimp. Sometimes halibut leave the ocean bottom to feed on pelagic fish such as salmon, Pacific sand lance, Atka mackerel, Capelin, Pacific herring and Pacific ocean perch.

Method of Catching
Halibut taken by anglers are generally 15 to 20 pounds (6.8 to 9.1 kg) in weight; however, fish over 150 pounds (68 kg) are regularly caught. Anglers use stout saltwater gear to harvest halibut. Most anglers prefer to fish with bait, especially herring but also squid, octopus, cod pieces, or other small bottom fish. To get the bait down to the halibut, it is usually fished on a wire spreader or a sliding-sinker rig with sinker size 4 ounces (113 g) to 4 pounds (1.81 kg), depending on such factors as depth and current. Sport fishing for halibut in Alaska is a very popular activity; it is a strong fighter and one of the world’s largest bony fish with an impressive yield and firm, white flesh. 

Edible
Dietary Information: Pacific Halibut has very lean meat, making it an excellent menu choice for health-conscious consumers. Serving Size per 3.5 oz raw edible portion, Calories 91, Total Fat 1.33g, Saturated Fat 0.292g, Protein 18.56g, Sodium 68mg, Selenium 45.6mcg, Cholesterol 49mg, Omega-3 0.43g. Halibut does host a parasitic worm found generally around the gut cavity, current research suggests its not fatal to humans and proper preparation either freezing Halibut for 48 hours or thoroughly cooking the flesh will eliminate all the parasites , although normal refrigerator freezers can not reach the required negative temperature to kill theses parasites temperatures on the stove when cooking are optimum enough to kill the parasites ,when cooking, internal temperatures need to reach around 62 degree's for 15 seconds to eliminate all the parasites in the flesh 

Spawning Season/Grounds
spawning takes place off the edge of the continental shelf in deep waters about 200 to 300 fathoms (1,200 to 1,800 ft; 370 to 550 m) Young are found near shore, moving out to deeper waters as they grow older. Older individuals typically move from deeper water along the edge of the continental shelf where they spend the winter, to shallow coastal water (27-274 m) for the summer. 

Predators
Pacific sleeper shark, Pacific cod

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Rainbow Runner/rainbow yellowtail/Spanish jack/Hawaiian salmon


Name
The rainbow runner (Elagatis bipinnulata), also known as the rainbow yellowtailSpanish jack and Hawaiian salmon.

Location
The rainbow runner inhabits tropical and some subtropical waters worldwide. In the Western Atlantic, the species occurs from Massachusetts and Bermuda to north eastern Brazil, including the northern and southern Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas and the Greater and Lesser Antilles, extending east to at least the Azores. The species is widespread throughout the Pacific Ocean, but appears to be slightly less abundant in parts of the Indian Ocean, and rare or absent in the Persian Gulf. The species is an occasional visitor to the Mediterranean Sea, generally as a Lessepsian also called Erythrean invasion through the Suez Canal, but has not taken up permanent residence like other species. The species also inhabits the nearby Canary Islands, possibly entering the Mediterranean from the east also.

Habitat
The species is primarily pelagic, inhabiting the upper 164 m of the water column, sometimes close to land over rock and coral reef systems, as well as far offshore. The species occasionally comes quite close to shore, known to inhabits lagoons for short periods, and juveniles have even been reported in a Taiwanese estuary system. Rainbow runner, like other carangids such as Yellowtail kingfish are easily attracted to special Fish Attracting Devices (FAD's), floating buoy type structures. The species has been shown to occupy a water zone outside of the FAD up to 12 m deep and 10 m wide, treating it as if it were a stationary object.

Appearance
The colour of the fish is possibly the easiest way to identify the rainbow runner. The upper body is a dark olive blue to green and fading to white underneath. There are two narrow light blue to bluish white stripes running longitudinally along the sides, with a broader olive to yellow stripe between them. The maximum length of the species is somewhat contentious, with most sources giving a known maximum length of between 107 cm (42 in) and 120 cm (47 in) cm, while one source asserts the species reaches 180 cm (71 in) in length. The maximum known weight is confidently known to be 46.2 kg, The rainbow runner has a body that is sub-cylindrical, elongated to almost fusiform body, with a long pointed head and snout and a tapering rear end before the caudal fin emerges. The eye is relatively small and the teeth are arranged on jaws in villiform bands, with minute teeth also present on the roof of the mouth and tongue. The fish has two dorsal fins, although the rear rays of the long second fin have separated into a finlet. The first dorsal consists of 6 spines, the second of a single spine and 25 to 30 soft rays, with the last two as a separate finlet. Approximately 4% of rainbow runner have only five spines in the first dorsal fin, and are apparently born without them. The anal fin consists of one spine detached from the fin anteriorally, while the main fin has a single spine and 18 to 22 soft rays, with the last two detached to form a finlet like the dorsal fin. The dorsal and anal fins are quite low, and the dorsal fin is much longer than the anal. The pectoral fin is small for a carangid, about the length of the pelvic fin and is non-falcate with 20 rays. The pelvic fin consists of one spine and five branched soft rays. The caudal fin is deeply forked and consisting of 17 caudal rays, 9 dorsally and 8 ventrally. The lateral line has a slight anterior arch and there are no scutes present on the line, but possesses about 100 scales. The scales covering the body and parts of the gill cover, cheek, pectoral fins, pelvic fins. The species has 24 vertebrae.
Diet
Rainbow runner are fast swimming carnivores that take a wide range of prey including a wide variety of small fishes, inkfish and pelagic or planktonic crustaceans including, shrimps and crabs. It has been demonstrated that the species shows selectivity of its prey, with fish in the Pacific Ocean taking higher amounts of  Mackerel scad, a small fish, than any other prey available. It was also found in the same study that rainbow runner may increase the swimming and prey searching abilities rapidly with their growth, becoming more efficient at finding their preferred prey items. Rainbow runner are also one of a number of pelagic fishes that prey on open-ocean species of sea-skaters/striders, a type of insect which rest on the surface of the ocean. 
Method of Catching
Taken while trolling for other species such as tuna and mackerel, but are often targeted inshore by anglers on the west coast of the Americas using surface 'popper' style lures. The fish are caught on a wide variety of lures and baits, with deep diving lures, surface lures and even saltwater flies used to good measure. The species takes a wide variety of baits including live and cut fish, squid, octopus. 

Edible
Their flesh is said to be of fair to excellent standard, depending on personal preferences. At least one case of ciguatera poisoning has been reported from this species on the Virgin Islands. 
Spawning ground/Season
The size at sexual maturity is only confidently known for the female of the species, being around 600 mm in fork length, although the male has been estimated to reach maturity at between 600 and 650 mm. In the Atlantic, the species is known to spawn from spring through to early autumn, although fish living in waters greater than 27 degrees Celsius spawn year round. However, even when year-round spawning occurs, there are seasonal peaks, with fish in the Western Pacific Ocean showing these peaks in May and in December – January. The fish is oviparous, producing pelagic eggs and larvae, with the diagnostic features of the larvae include a supraoccupital crest and distinctive patterns of pigment and melanophores. The growth of the fish has also been studied, with the size of fish at 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years ages are estimated to be 30, 46, 59, 69 and 77 cm in length respectively.

Predators
The species themselves are also commonly used as bait, either as live bait or dead bait rigged to be trolled behind game boats for larger species such as billfish and tuna.


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Saturday, 17 March 2012

King Mackerel


Name
The king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla

Location
The king mackerel is a subtropical species of the Atlantic Coast of the Americas. Common in the coastal zone from North Carolina to Brazil, it occurs as far south as Rio de Janeiro, and occasionally as far north as the Gulf of Maine, a preference for water temperatures in the range of 68 to 85 °F (20 to 29 °C) may limit distribution.

Habitat
King mackerel commonly occur in depths of 40 to 150 feet (12–45 m), where the principal fisheries occur. Larger kings (heavier than 20 lb or 9 kg) often occur inshore, in the mouths of inlets and harbors, and occasionally even at the 600-foot (180-m) depths at the edge of the Gulf Stream. 

Appearance
The king mackerel is a medium-sized fish, typically encountered from five to 30 pounds, but is known to exceed 90 pounds. The entire body is covered with very small, hardly visible, loosely attached scales. The first (spiny) dorsal fin is entirely colorless and is normally folded back into a body groove, as are the pelvic fins. The lateral line starts high on the shoulder, dips abruptly at mid-body and then continues as a wavy horizontal line to the tail. Coloration is olive on the back, fading to silver with a rosy iridescence on the sides, fading to white on the belly. Fish under 10 pounds (5 kg) show yellowish-brown spots on the flanks. Its cutting-edged teeth are large, uniform, closely spaced and flattened from side to side. These teeth look very sharp and razor like in appearance.

Diet
King mackerel are voracious, opportunistic carnivores. Their prey depends on their size. Depending on area and season, they favor menhaden and other sardine-like fish, jacks, Cutlassfish, weakfish, grunts, striped anchovies, cigar minnows, threadfin, northern mackerel and blue runners. 

Method of catching
Are taken mostly by trolling, using various live and dead baitfish, spoons, jigs and other artificial lures. Commercial gear consists of run-around gill nets. They are also taken commercially by trolling with large planers, heavy tackle and lures similar to those used by sport fishers. Typically when using live bait, two hooks are tied to a strong metal leader. The first may be a treble or single and is hooked through the live bait's nose and/or mouth. The second hook (treble hook) is placed through the top of the fish's back or allowed to swing free. This must be done because king mackerel commonly bite the tail section of a bait fish. Typical tackle includes a conventional or spinning reel capable of holding 400 yards (370 m) of 20 lb (9 kg) test mono filament and a 7 foot (2.1 m), 20 pound (9 kg) class rod.

Edible
King mackerel are primarily marketed fresh. They may be sold as fillets, steaks, or in the round (whole). Their raw flesh is grayish, due to its high fat content. They are best prepared by broiling, frying, baking or, especially for large "smoker" king, by smoking. king mackerel is one of four fishes, along with swordfish, shark, and tilefish, that children and pregnant women should avoid due to high levels of methylmercury found in these fish and the consequent risk of mercury poisoning.

Spawning ground/season
An Atlantic group is abundant off North Carolina in spring and fall. This group migrates to southeast Florida, where it spawns from May through August, and slowly returns through summer. Apparently, this group winters in deep water off the Carolinas, as tagging studies have shown they are never found off Florida in winter.At least two migratory groups of king mackerel have been found to exist off the American coast. A Gulf of Mexico group ranges from the Texas coast in summer to the middle-east coast of Florida from November through March. Spawning occurs throughout the summer off the northern Gulf Coast. Eggs and sperm are shed into the sea and their union is by chance. Depending on size, a female may shed from 50,000 to several million eggs over the spawning season. Fertilized eggs hatch in about 24 hours. The newly hatched larva is about 0.1 inches (2.5 mm) long with a large yolk sack. Little is known about king mackerel in their first year of life. Yearling fish typically attain an average weight of 3 to 4 pounds (1.4–1.8 kg) and a fork length of 25 inches (60 cm). At age seven, females average 21 lb (9.5 kg), males 11 lb (5 kg). King mackerel may attain 90 lb (40 kg), but any over 15 pounds (7 kg) is almost certainly a female.


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Monday, 12 March 2012

mahi-mahi/common dolphinfish/lampuga/lampuka/rakingo/calitos/maverikos/dorado/pompano dolphinfish


Name
The mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus). The name mahi-mahi means very strong in Hawaiian. In other languages the fish is known as lampuga, lampuka, lampuki, rakingo, calitos, or maverikos. Also known widely as dorado. 

Location 
Found in off-shore temperate, tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. Mahi-mahi can be found in the Caribbean Sea, on the west coast of North and South America, the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast of Florida, Southeast Asia, Hawaii.

Habitat 
 Fishing charters most often look for floating debris and frigate birds near the edge of the reef in about 120 feet (37 m) of water. Mahi-mahi is a surface-dwelling ray-finned fish often swimming near debris such as floating wood, palm trees and fronds, or Sargasso weed lines and around fish buoysSargasso is floating seaweed that sometimes holds a complete ecosystem from microscopic creatures to seahorses and baitfish. Frigate birds dive for food accompanying the debris or Sargasso, hence the phrase "Tree of life" . Experienced fishing guides can tell what species are likely around the debris by the birds' behavior.

Appearance
Mahi-mahi have compressed bodies and long dorsal fins extending nearly the entire length of their bodies. Their caudal fins and anal fins are sharply concave. They are distinguished by dazzling colors, golden on the sides, and bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Mature males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. Females have a rounded head. Females are also usually smaller than males. Out of the water, the fish often change color among several hues (giving rise to their Spanish name, dorado maverikos, ("golden maverick"), finally fading to a muted yellow-grey upon death. Dolphinfish have been shown to be sexually dimorphic at  around 40-50cm fork length. In comparison with available age/growth charts, this equates to male and female dolphinfish being readily discernable from one another by the time they are 4-5 months old by examining the slope of their forehead. The males have blunt square head shape while the females have a more rounded sloped head shape. In general, dolphinfish in the Western Atlantic show a tendency to reach maturity in 5-7 months and can spawn continuously. it is one of only two members of the Coryphaenidae family, the other being the pompano dolphinfish.


Diet
Mahi-mahi are carnivorous, feeding on flyingfish, crabs, squid, mackerel, herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies and sprats also other small fish, including halfbeaks, smelt such as capelin, and the goldband fusiliers. They have also been known to eat zooplankton and crustaceans. Sargasso found in the stomachs of several dolphinfish imply the importance of continued investigations into the relationship between the fish and the mobile habitat in which it is closely linked to.



Method of catching 
Thirty- to fifty-pound gear is more than adequate when trolling for mahi-mahi. Fly-casters may especially seek frigatebirds to find big mahi-mahis, and then use a bait-and-switch technique. Ballyhoo or a net full of live sardines tossed into the water can excite the mahi-mahis into a feeding frenzy. Hookless teaser lures can have the same effect. After tossing the teasers or live chum, fishermen throw the fly to the feeding mahi-mahi.
Edible 
Sport fishermen seek them due to their beauty, size, food quality, and healthy populations. 


Spawning ground/season 
Mahi-mahi are among the fastest-growing fish. They spawn in warm ocean currents throughout much of the year, and their young are commonly found in seaweed. Males and females are sexually mature in their first year, usually by 4-5 months old. Spawning can occur at body lengths of 20 cm. Females may spawn two to three times per year, and produce between 80,000 and 1,000,000 eggs per event. In waters above 34 °C, mahi-mahi larvae are found year-round, with greater numbers detected in spring and fall. In one study, seventy percent of the youngest larvae collected in the northern Gulf of Mexico were found at a depth greater than 180 meters. Spawning occurs normally in captivity, with 100,000 eggs per event.


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Name
The pompano dolphinfish (Coryphaena equiselis) 


Location 
Pompano have been shown to be common in the waters around Bermuda. Fishermen in the Florida Straits have documented pompano dolphin occurring in the same school with common dolphinfish and even in mixed schools of common dolphin and blackfin tuna.  

Habitat 
Closely related to above mentioned habitats since the swim bladder is related in the same way.

Appearance
Pompano dolphinfish have compressed heads and long dorsal fins extending the entire length of their bodies. Rays in the dorsal fin are 48 to 55 rays, Greatest body depth vertically occurs at mid-body in front of anal fin, Pectoral fin is short with less than half of head length, All rays are the same length at the anal fin with no longer lobe present the edge of the fin is straight, Tongue tooth patch is large and rectangular in shape. Their backs are a brilliant blue-green, and their sides are a silvery-golden color. Mature males develop a protruding forehead, but not to the same extent as male mahi-mahi. When they are removed from the water, the fish fade to a muted green-grey upon death.

Diet
Pompano dolphinfish are carnivorous, feeding on small fish and squid. being a close relative to the dolphinfish, its "superficial to say the same as the above mentioned paragraph"

Method of catching 
Same as the above mentioned paragraph, "have not encountered a fishermen targeting this specific species of fish only" 

Edible 
Pompano dolphinfish are popular as a game fish in the waters off South America, and are sometimes eaten as a substitute for swordfish because of their firm texture and sweet flavor.

Spawning ground/season 
Pompano dolphinfish have a lifespan of three to four years. They are often mistaken for juvenile mahi-mahi; they are somewhat smaller than their mahi-mahi cousins, never exceeding 127 cm in length


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