- 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.
Longbill spearfish (Tetrapturus)
One of the smallest specimens of the fast-swimming billfish family, the slender longbill spearfish is dark blue above and silver to white on its sides and below. The pectoral, anal and tailfins are dark blue to gray, often with hints of silver. The dorsal fin of the longbill peaks at the front then dips to form a nearly uniform height until it tapers to the back. Its bill is about twice the length of its lower jaw but significantly shorter than other billfish.
Like all billfish, longbill spearfish roam at or near the surface to feed squid and smaller fish, such as dolphin, flyingfish, and needlefish. They use their speed and agility to chase prey near the surface and after a burst of speed, they swallow them whole (some experts believe the spear is used to thrash and injure food fish, though there is no confirmed evidence about the role of the spear in feeding).
Longbill spearfish have a broad range throughout the Atlantic Ocean, yet they are not commonly found in any specific area. They are more likely to inhabit the western Atlantic, from New Jersey to Venezuela, including the Gulf of Mexico, rather than the eastern Atlantic.
The longbill spearfish is a deep-water, offshore billfish. It will inhabit waters as deep as 325 feet but normally stays between the thermocline and the surface.
- The all-tackle world record for the longbill spearfish is 94 pounds, 12 ounces.