- 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.
Striped mullet (Mugil)
Striped mullet have an elongated but irregularly round body shaped somewhat like a torpedo. It is made for speed. The body is covered with large scales that are olive-green or bluish gray on the back and upper sides, fading to silvery on the lower sides and white on the belly. There are indistinct horizontal black stripes on the side. Striped mullet have a small head and mouth. They have two dorsal fins, the first with five spines and the second with 8 softrays. The tail fin is forked and the pectoral fin is short.
Striped mullet are bottom feeders and either scrape off material from rocks with their spade-like lower jaw or pick up the material from the ocean floor and strain digestible plant and animal matter with their gill rakers and teeth. They spit out all other matter. A gizzard-like stomach breaks down any hard material that gets through the straining process and aids in digestion. They feed almost exclusively during the day, with a diet made up of zooplankton and other tiny marine forms, as well as detritus (dead organic matter).
Found world-wide in warm water oceans and seas, striped mullet inhabit areas from the Bay of Biscay (Spain) to South Africa (including the Mediterranean and Black Seas) in the eastern Atlantic; from Nova Scotia to Brazil (including the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico, but not the Bahamas and most of the Caribbean) in the western Atlantic; from California to Chile in the eastern Pacific.
Striped mullet are inshore, coastal fish that often enter estuaries and rivers. They prefer areas with dense vegetation and sand or mud bottoms and will travel in sizeable schools.
Like the other mullet species, striped mullet frequently jump from the water. It is speculated that they do so in an attempt to increase oxygen in their body, since studies have shown that the lower the oxygen level in the water, the more frequently they jump.
- Striped mullet roe is considered a delicacy.
- The striped mullet is the only one of the roughly 70 members of the species to be found off the Pacific coast of the U.S.