Greater Amberjack: Characteristics, habitat cultivation and more….

Today you will know a very special marine species due to its nutritional and culinary power called Greater Amberjack.

Greater amberjack is well known worldwide because of its delicious flavor. It’s a fairly abundant fish throughout the year, but the time in which it’s in greater quantity is during May and June.

Its scientific name is Seriola dumerili and it belongs to the Carangidae family. It’s very popular in gastronomy with different commercial and local names throughout the world


Animalia Kingdom Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Perciforms Family: Carangidae Genre: Seriola Species: S. dumerili

The Greater Amberjack’s Main Characteristics

Greater amberjack is well known worldwide because of its delicious flavor. It’s a fairly abundant fish throughout the year, but the time in which it’s in greater quantity is during May and June.

Its scientific name is Seriola dumerili and it belongs to the Carangidae family. It’s very popular in gastronomy with different commercial and local names throughout the world.

The Greater Amberjack is known in many places in the world and in each area it’s known by a different name.

acciola (Italian),

aji-aji (Malay),

√ arabaiana (Portuguese),

 ztún medregal (Spanish),

yellow tail (Spanish),

limon fish (Spanish),

pitangola (Portuguese),

√ poisson limon (French)

The greater amberjack usually inhabits sandy places in the deep rocky areas close to 300 meters. When winter arrives they settle on the seabed and only surface when the warmer temperatures arrive with spring.

It has eight spines and between twenty-nine and thirty-five white dorsal rays, three anal spines and twenty-two white anal..

His body is almost flattened and elongated. In addition, it has small scales that surround its body.

The head is larger and rounded, with small eyes, a wider mouth and a longer, more round snout with tiny teeth.

It has an anal fin with two spines and two dorsal fins. Its tail has a similar shape to the rest of the body. As for its color, it has the dorsal portion bluish in color while the ventral one ranges between white and silver.

Most Greater amberjacks have a horizontal yellow line that covers the flanks. Their size can vary between one meter and one and a half meters, depending on their age. When they reach maturity, greater amberjacks can reach up to 60 kilograms.

Their size and weight depend entirely on the area where they live, since the temperatures and ocean currents are what condition their growth.

Often confused with other species, the greater amberjack may be distinguished by the number of gill rakers and the length of the anal fin.

Gill rakers are finger-like extensions projecting from the front gill arch. Greater amberjacks possess 11-19 gill rakers and a long anal end base.

In contrast, lesser amberjacks (Seriola fasciata) have 21-24 gill rakers and a long anal end base, almaco jacks (Seriola rivoliana) have 21-26 gill rakers and a long anal end base, and banded rudderfish

Curious Facts about Greater Amberjack

√ Its meat similar to that of the croaker; exquisite and much appreciated.

The World Record is a specimen of more than 73 kg

 √ It’s known that in some areas it has caused cases of ciguatera, (ciguatoxin poisoning), so you          should  avoid consuming the intestines, head and roe, where the concentration of toxins in    greater. This poisoning is rarely lethal.

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The Greater Amberjack’s Common Behavior

Greater amberjacks tend to have a calm behavior, without aggressiveness against other species. Moreover, they have pelagic habits and they are only seen in groups or couples during

reproductive time. Once they reproduce they return to stay in the depths of the ocean. 

When the summer season arrives, it’s possible to see them near the surface on the coasts and once they reach adulthood they form large groups near the floating elements such as jellyfish and salps.

Greater Amberjack: Habitat

The Greater amberjack is currently found in almost all waters of all oceans, being more prominent in the the Atlantic Ocean, extending to the Mediterranean Sea and the Bay of Biscay.

They set at about 80 meters deep, although some specimens roam even at 300 meters.

Summer and spring are the only seasons when they go up to the surface.

Other common locations of this species are the Western Pacific, the British Isles, the Mediterranean Sea and Morocco, when they are seen in all the islands and low parts of subtropical waters.

Food and Reproduction

These fish are carnivorous, since their diet is based entirely on other fish and invertebrates, as well as squid and cuttlefish.

Greater amberjacks are usually captured while trying to hunt other species such as horse mackerel, crustaceans, fry and bogas.

However, when their appetite is very large they are able to eat any organism that roams the area.

Fishing and Nutritional Values

The fishing of Greater amberjack is very common in the dates mentioned above since it’s in those times when they ascend to the coast.

Their fishing is not that difficult and is usually successful since the time for their capture and the places that they usually frequent are already known.

Although in the months of May and June are more abundant, these fish are usually found throughout the year.

The only mishap associated is due to the aerodynamic shape of their body, which allows them to swim with great force and agility.

With these skills they are able to stay on the seabed for a long time.

The greater amberjack is such a trophy for fishermen who love the coasts and the high seas. The bigger the more satisfaction it brings.

In addition, it’s highly valued due to its nutritional contributions rich in proteins, carbohydrates, Omega 3, Cholesterol, minerals, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, sodium, vitamins, A, E, B, B9, B12 and B3.

How to Cath a Greater Amberjack?

Fishing of this species has proved to be a major attractant for most fishermen, who enjoy fishing greater amberjacks when they concentrate on huge shoals in places like the Coasts of Brazil.

The meat is the most used bait, since they are entirely carnivorous.When they are in danger, the greater amberjacks usually attack everything that gets in their way.

Thus fishermen must be fully prepared to perform any type of feat to catch one of the most coveted fish in ocean waters.

One of the most pleasant things to expect their fishing  is that in its time of appearance other important species also arrive such as grouper, salmon , sawfish, dove, croaker, broiler, pets, kittens and dogfish

In the same way large amounts of anchovies and totoaba fish are kept next to the greater amberjack, so the same capture strategies are generally used.

It’s important to maintain a conscience of fishing and capture only mature specimens. Fish of more than 126 centimeters in length established in the South of Brazil in the summer months are caught, reaching to capture large quantities of anchovies species very similar to the greater amberjack.

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The Greater Amberjack’s Predators

Predators of the greater amberjack include larger fishes and seabirds including the yellowfin tuna  European wake, brown noddy (Anous stolidus), and sooty tern (Sterna fuscata).


Tapeworms occasionally infest greater amberjacks. Although this may be unappetizing, the worms are harmless to humans and may be cut away from the flesh and discarded prior to cooking.

A monogean parasite (Zeuxapta seriolae) has been documented as parasitizing the gills of the greater amberjack.

Similar Species to the Greater Amberjack

Among the similar species to the Greater Amberjack the following should be mentioned

Yellowtail amberjack

This species resides in South America near the Atlantic Coasts. Its diet is mainly carnivorous and is based on medium-sized benthic organisms.

Yellowtail amberjack has beautiful colors mixed throughout its body, where the silver color highlights.

In addition, Yellowtail amberjack has several longitudinal lines, some yellowish and others between blue and green, the fins are yellow, while its lower part is bright white.


This species frequents the coasts of the Atlantic waters, in spring they establish on the seabed near the reefs to reproduce.

They are large fish whose length ranges between one meter and two meters approximately.

They have strong jaws containing small teeth. Moreover, leer fish are carnivorous animals that feed on other smaller fish.

Marini’s anchovy

This is probably the most similar species to greater amberjacks, but they can be quickly differentiated by their color, since Marini’s anchovy has unique characteristics such as its caudal pendulum that is totally thin and prolonged.

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Cultivation Of the Greater Amberjack

In Argentina, various studies have been carried out on the cultivation of greater amberjack, through fisheries research and development, with the purpose of developing a cultivation program dedicated to this greater amberjack.  It’s a novel program of experimental biology.

The National Institute of Fisheries Research and Development of Marine Species has begun the search for the maintenance of greater amberjack through its cultivation and survival studies.

Currently, the first stage has been carried out, which has been very fruitful in terms of maintenance and recovery of the establishments areas of this species.

There are currently 29 very well acclimatized captive specimens, which will be responsible for shaping the broodstock portfolio.

These fish were caught with special methods to keep them in good condition. Once all the studies were carried out on each of the characteristics that the greater amberjack has, it was concluded that it’s one of the species that can be taken as viable for cultivation in captivity.

Even when different species inhabiting in the Argentine Sea were studied, the greater amberjack was chosen.

These species are found in large quantities in the spring to summer period in the Silver Sea Coasts.

This project began in 2015, but it’s until now that the results are seen, where commissions have been formed responsible for carrying out all the prominent statistics of the changes made in the producing schools and their adaptation to the captivity of these species.

At that time it was just a simple project, which would later become a true reality, with a large push.

Results obtained

Extraordinary results have been achieved, due to the success obtained in the capture and transport of the fishing benches to the Mari- culture station, without any incidents in the captured specimens, due to the contribution of the large fishing vessels.

Despite the inconveniences that have arisen throughout the project, it has also been possible to demonstrate that it’s possible to do so.

Being able to adapt these fish to the pond, making all the necessary modification, this project has been launched full of beautiful expectations and big dreams to captivate.

It has been a real success in at least the first 20 specimens, which adapted perfectly and are in stable conditions, demonstrating all their power in just ten days of captivity

In these last moments it was possible to reach one of the most immediate goals established, which was to make-up a reproductive group of more than 24 specimens.

The most important thing is that it has had  a big support from various fishing vessels, which have been offered for the capture of more specimens of greater amberjacks and thus be able to help in all the priority efforts for the subsequent study of this species. This scenario has a good prognosis to exceed all the proposed expectations.

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Greater Amberjack’s Marketing

There is currently a staff of 29 specimens living in the captive pond, carrying out all the relevant actions; it has been possible to achieve total success in these specimens, with the results obtained being greater.

Therefore, a new strategy is estimated with extraordinary results carried out by the development of the cultivation technology of greater amberjack, based on certain guidelines and backgrounds from other parts of the world.

Taking as reference countries such as Australia, Chile, Mexico and New Zealand, where a crop plant of this species already exists and has been a total success.

The reproduction period of this species has given optimal results, being an example of the potential that is being evaluated.

One of the factors that interest in more detail is the greater amberjacks’ commercialization due to the boom that has had their meat, which is at a level of international consumption.

These are some of the most eloquent points that must be taken into account in the medium or short term. At the time that this technology is fully developed, all steps for large-scale productive development should be spared, making this crop become a profitable window for the different national and international markets.

It’s is about doing the best possible so that this project continues in satisfactory growth. Strategies are changed periodically, in search of the best results.

Include new breeding stock to strengthen the reproduction of this species. A quick way to grow is to induce spawning to speed up reproductions.

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The Greater Amberjack and Culinary Art

They are large, (not as much as tuna), but have quite large dimensions; about 80 kilogram. This greater amberjack is very good looking due to its beautiful polished color, a mixture of blue and green, white and silver.

Its meat is considered a true delight is of abundant fat, with an exaggerated nutritional power in omega- 3. There are many ways to eat it and get all its nutritional powers, the most recommended is quickly roasted.

Let’s learn a recipe

Greater Amberjack with Salt.

Ingredients for 6 people

1 greater amberjack of approximately 3 kg

6 kg coarse salt

1 head of garlicgreater amberjack: greater amberjack with salt

5 thin slices of orange

√1 sliced ​​lemon

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs of thyme

4 coriander roots

3 units of star anise


Clean the fish from scales and gills, wash it well and dry it.

√ Make a cut through the belly and stomach and remove the viscera. With a knife separate the meat on each side of the spine without piercing the loin.

√ Fill with garlic, pepper, star anise, bay leaf, thyme, cilantro and lemon and orange slices. Return to the original form.

Cover a baking sheet with a 3cm layer of salt. Place the fish on top and cover with the rest of the salt.

Bake 45 minutes at 180 ° C. Remove and let stand.

With a knife, break the surface salt layer by removing the excess.

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