- Although the flesh of the almaco jack is considered quality table fare, the species has been associated with ciguatera poisoning, a seldom fatal stomach irritation.
- The almaco jack is susceptible to tapeworm parasites in the caudal peduncle area, but the meat can be eaten safely if affected portions are cut away.
Knobbed porgy (Calamus)
Knobbed porgy have deep bodies. The head slopes steeply upward, giving the nape a knobby, protruding appearance, especially in large adults. The body is silvery with a rosy or bluish-greenish cast and the cheek and snout is dark grayish purple, with many yellow spots. The tail fin is forked. The first dorsal fin has about 12 spines.
Being speedy enough to take small fish and having both incisors and molars powerful enough to crunch through the shells of hard-bodied animals gives the knobbed porgy a variety of food options. Their preference is to eat bottom-dwelling creatures such as snails, crabs, sea urchins, starfish, clams and barnacles. Small fish are consumed but to a lesser degree.
These fish occur in the western Atlantic from North Carolina southward to and including most of the Gulf of Mexico, including the Florida Keys, the Bahamas and Cuba.
Preferring to live in subtropical waters over reefs, ledges, wrecks and other hard bottom areas, knobbed porgy are generally found near the sea floor at depths of 23 to 300 feet, but usually deeper than 80 feet.
- This fish is not caught in large numbers in any area it inhabits.
- Knobbed porgy provide excellent table fare. The meat is creamy white and flaky. It is commonly filleted and works equally well if fried, baked or broiled.