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Varieties of Hamour Fish from Gulf Fish Market

The name 'Hamour' or 'Hammour' (Arabic: هَامُّوْر, romanizedHāmmūr)[1] is used to describe a number of fish, mainly the Goldspotted rockcod (Epinephelus coioides) and Brown spotted reef cod (Epinephelus chlorostigma). At the same time, it is the name given to a variety of closely related fish species in the Persian Gulf.


The Gulf Cooperation Council keeps fishery records on the fish caught in their territorial waters. Of the estimated 540 species of fish in the Persian Gulf,[2] 11 different species are commonly referred to as Hamour. In records kept by the state of Qatar, there is a clear indication that the amount of "Hamour" being caught is rapidly declining, and has dropped sharply since 2008. The decline of the culturally important and prized hamour fish prompted Qatar to start a program to farm the fish species, focusing on the most highly valued Epinephelus coioides. Yet the same states keep record on a "Hamour Group", roughly relating to the catch-all phrase "Grouper". This includes the Brown spotted reef cod, known in the Persian Gulf states as "Souman", but also as "Hammour".[1]


The words 'Hamour' and 'Soman' (Persian: سومان) are also used in Iran to describe similar species of fish, for example the Hamour-e Khaldar-e Qahvei (هامور خالدار قهوه‌ای), which is the Persian name for the Brown-spotted reef rod,[citation needed] but which is known in Arabic simply as Hamour.[1]


  • Heemstra, P. C.; Randall, J. E. (1993). Groupers of the World (Family Serranidae, Subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. FAO Fish. Synop.


  1. ^ a b c Carrington, Daisy (2009-01-19). "Handling hammour". Time Out Abu Dhabi. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  2. ^ "Al-Seyassah.com". Archived from the original on 2013-08-25. Retrieved 2013-09-04.