Sunday, 9 September 2012

Leatherjacket fish/skipjack/leather jack

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.

Anguilla, Antigua Barb, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Br Virgin Is, Brazil, Cayman Is, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, CuraƧao 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.

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

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"   


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. 

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.


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