- 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.
Vermilion snapper (Rhomboplites)
The body of the vermilion snapper is slender, somewhat drawn-out and a vivid red in color. It has a series of short, irregular, diagonal blue lines formed by spots on the scales above the lateral line. The vermilion snapper sometimes appears yellow below the lateral line. The body does not have dark lateral spots found on some other snappers.
The vermilion snapper has a small head with a short snout. The mouth is small with a projecting lower jaw. It has large canines relative to the size of the mouth. The position of the small eyes make it appear as though it is looking upward. The dorsal fins have 12 to 13 spines, 10 to 11 soft rays and appear yellowish in color. The white anal fin has three spines and nine soft rays. The pectoral fins are too short to reach the anal fins when against the side of the body.
A carnivorous bottom feeder, the vermilion snapper usually feeds in schools, preying upon small fish, shrimp, cephalopods, mollusk and plankton.
Found in the western Atlantic from as far north as North Carolina to as far south as Brazil, the largest concentrations of vermilion snapper are in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Vermilion snapper live close to continental or island shelves at depths between 600 and 1,000 feet. They tend to form large schools with other species of snapper, including the red snapper. These fish prefer flat areas to slopes. Younger fish are found at shallower depths around 80 feet. Like the red snapper, vermilion snapper congregate around underwater structures such as reefs, shipwrecks and oilrigs.
- Vermilion snapper is the second largest source of revenue for commercial reef fishermen but is not heavily fished for recreationally. The value of the vermilion snapper catch is between $2 and $4 million per year in the United States.