Yellowtail amberjack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Yellowtail amberjack
Seriola lalandi.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Carangiformes
Family: Carangidae
Genus: Seriola
S. lalandi
Binomial name
Seriola lalandi

The yellowtail amberjack, yellowtail kingfish, hiramasa or great amberjack (Seriola lalandi) is a large fish found in the Southern Ocean. Although previously thought to be found in all oceans and seas, recent genetic analysis restricts S. lalandi proper to the Southern Hemisphere waters.[3] However, they are found in Northern Hemisphere waters during certain times of the year. The fish was given its name by Monsieur de Lalande, a naturalist who first informed zoologist Achille Valenciennes of the existence of this species. His reason for the use of the word Seriola (feminine diminutive form of seria, a large earthenware pot) to name the fish is uncertain, but the second word lalandi was derived from his surname.[4]


The yellowtail amberjack was formally described in 1833 by French zoologist Achille Valenciennes from type specimens sent to him[5] by naturalist and explorer Pierre Antoine Delalande, who is honoured in its specific name.[6] Fishbase includes populations of similar fish in the Northern Hemisphere within this species,[2] but other authorities regard S. aureovittata from the North Pacific Ocean around Japan and S. dorsalis of the northeastern Pacific as separate species.[7]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The yellowtail amberjack occurs in tropical and temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere and the northern Pacific. In Australia, it is recorded from North Reef, Queensland, (23° 11′ S) to Trigg Island, Western Australia, (31° 52′ S), and as far south as Tasmania.[8]

The yellowtail amberjack (or yellowtail kingfish as it is known in Australia) is a highly mobile pelagic species, and tends to either form single-species schools, or combine with southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) and silver trevally (Pseudocaranx dentex). They prefer water temperatures of 17‒24 °C.[9]

In general, they inhabit rocky reefs and adjacent sandy areas in coastal waters and occasionally enter estuaries. They are found from shallow water down to depths around 50 m, although have been caught from over 300 m.

Young fish up to 7 kg are known to form shoals of several hundred fish. They are generally found close to the coast, while larger fish are more common around deep reefs and offshore islands. Juvenile yellowtail amberjack are rarely seen, as they are often found far from land associated with floating debris or weed which provide camouflage. Juveniles are yellow with black bands. This colouration fades as the fish ages, and by about 30 cm in length, the fish has assumed its adult colouration.


Very little is known of the yellowtail amberjack's biology, including its habitat preferences throughout juvenile life stages, migration patterns, and wild reproductive behaviour. Adults live around rocky reefs, rocky outcrops, and drop-offs in coastal waters, and around pinnacles and offshore islands.[10] Maximum length is often reported to reach up to 180 cm. Large kingfish caught near Port Augusta in South Australia have been recorded at weights of between 40 and 50 kilograms. Recreational fishers have reported that kingfish catches near Port Augusta were more reliable when the Playford Power Stations were discharging hot water into the upper Spencer Gulf. The power stations have been decommissioned, but kingfish still migrate to upper Spencer Gulf as the southern gulf water cools.[11]

Sydney Harbour[edit]

Before the introduction of kingfish traps (for commercial fishing) in the 1970s, huge numbers of yellowtail amberjack were in Sydney Harbour. These traps were so effective that some studies suggested the traps may have wiped out as much as 60% of the larger amberjack population.[12] In the mid-1990s under heavy pressure from recreational anglers, Bob Martin, the minister for fisheries, prohibited the use of these traps in Sydney Harbour.


Being a pelagic fish, yellowtail amberjack are highly active predators, usually in schools or in pairs. Their main diet consists of baitfish including yellowtail mackerel, squid, prawns, garfish, and kahawai.[13]

Uses and aquaculture[edit]

S. lalandi has been established as a suitable candidate for marine aquaculture. In contrast to the culture of the Japanese amberjack (S. quinqueradiata), which has long been cultured extensively in Japan, juveniles of S. lalandi are not easily available from the wild, and juveniles are produced in hatcheries from captive-breeding stock. In 2010, the Stehr Group in South Australia was the largest producer of cultured S. lalandi in the world. Trials elsewhere in Australia have been undertaken and in some cases abandoned after stock losses.[14][15] Water quality concerns were raised following farmed kingfish mortalities in upper Spencer Gulf, South Australia, in 2011.[16] In the late 2010s, yellowtail kingfish farms were established near Geraldton and the Abrolhos Islands in Western Australia by Indian Ocean Fresh Australia and Huon Aquaculture, respectively.[17]

Some attempts have been made to culture the species in New Zealand, both in sea cages and a large land-based system at Parengarenga Harbour (northern New Zealand). Chile is currently testing sea-cage and land-based farming methods. In Germany, S. lalandi is being cultivated in the first land-based seafish-culture.[18] A Dutch company, The Kingfish Company, is planning to open a land-based aquaculture operation in Maine, U.S.A., in 2022. Most cultured S. lalandi is sold to the Japanese restaurant market for consumption as sashimi. Amberjack can be eaten in a variety of ways, including grilling and drying.


  1. ^ Smith-Vaniz, W.F.; Williams, I. (2015). "Seriola lalandi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T195097A43155921. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T195097A43155921.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2019). "Seriola lalandi" in FishBase. August 2019 version.
  3. ^ Martinez-Takeshita, N., D. M. Purcell, C. L. Chabot, M. T. Craig, C. N. Paterson, J. R. Hyde, & L. G. Allen. 2015. A tale of three tails: cryptic speciation in a globally distributed marine fish of the genus Seriola. Copeia, 103(2): 357-368.
  4. ^ Australian Museum (9 March 2020). "Yellowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1833". The Australian Museum. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  5. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). "Seriola lalandi". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  6. ^ Christopher Scharpf; Kenneth J. Lazara (10 August 2019). "Order CARANGIFORMES (Jacks)". The ETYFish Project Fish Name Etymology Database. Christopher Scharpf and Kenneth J. Lazara. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  7. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). Seriola "Species in the genus 'Seriola'". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  8. ^ Australian Museum (9 March 2020). "Yellowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1833". The Australian Museum. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  9. ^ Roelofs, Anthony; Lewis, Paul; Rogers, Paul; Georgeson, Lee; Tracey, Sean; Victorian Fisheries, Authority. "Yellowtail Kingfish 2020". Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  10. ^ Dianne J Bray, 2011, Yellowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Aug 2014, Archived 18 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Pittaway, Daniel (06-01-2017). "Port Augusta winter warriors". FishingSA. 53: 62–66. {{cite journal}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ "How to catch Sydney harbour kingfish". Fishabout Fishing Charters Sydney Harbour With Craig McGill. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  13. ^ "How to catch kingfish". The fishing website. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  14. ^ Page, Donna (5 February 2019). "Controversial Port Stephens kingfish farm scrapped". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  15. ^ "Yellowtail kingfish farmed at Geraldton die". 31 August 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  16. ^ "Concerns about kingfish deaths in upper spencer gulf". 23 September 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  17. ^ "Jobs to be created after aquaculture zone approved". 3 August 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]