- 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.
Red porgy (Pagrus)
Red porgy are medium-sized, humpbacked fish with compact, stocky bodies. They are red with a silver tinge on the body and head. The tail and fins are more of a pinkish color. Small blue spots cover the entire body. While most porgy have slit-like nostrils, the nostrils of red porgy are rounded. The dorsal fins have 12 spines and 1 soft ray. The anal fin has 3 spines and 8 soft rays. Males are much larger than females.
Red porgy are carnivorous bottom feeders. They tend to feed in schools and migrate looking for food. Their typical diet is made up of crustaceans, mollusk and small fish. Young red porgy tend to eat plankton and worms and concentrate more on small baitfish as they mature.
Red porgy are found between 57 degrees north latitude and 38 degrees south latitude. In the western Atlantic red porgy are found between New York and Argentina including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. In the eastern Atlantic red porgy can be found between the British Isles to the north and the Straits of Gibraltar to the south. This includes the Madeira and Canary Islands.
Primarily living near reefs and the deeper part of continental shelves, red porgy tend to travel in schools. They are migratory, seldom staying in the same location for any period. Young red porgy are typically found closer to the shore at a depth around 60 feet and are usually found in grass beds. As they mature, the red porgy prefer deeper water between 200 and 600 feet.
- Red porgy are fished commercially and sold fresh and frozen.
- Red porgy are often raised in captivity and can be found in many show aquariums.
- Eating the red porgy has been associated with ciguatera poisoning, a seldom fatal digestive disorder.
- Red porgy have been overfished in many waters, and angling and harvest limits are often highly regulated.