Fish Fridays…the indigenous Hog Fish..and we will not say it tastes soooo good!

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Common Name: Hogfish

Latin Name: Lachnolaimus Maximus

Location: Common to occasional Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean (rare in some areas because of overharvesting), also Gulf of Mexico, north to North Carolina and Bermuda.

Distinct Features and Information: The hogfish gets its unusual name from its long, pig-like snout and protrusible mouth which it uses to root around the sea bottom for food. The hogfish belongs to the second largest family of marine fishes, the wrasses, but instead of a cigar-shaped body like most wrasses, the hogfish is laterally compressed and round. The color of the hogfish is highly variable, and depends on age, sex and habitat. Generally they are pearly white and mottled with reddish-brown. Small hogfish may be uniformly grey, whilst large hogfish can be mostly salmon pink, with a dark maroon bar on top of the snout. Most individuals possess a prominent round, black blotch below the dorsal fin, yellowish pectoral fins and bright red eyes. Hogfish have a fascinating life history; they are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that individuals first function sexually as females and then later, upon reaching a larger size, transform into males. This change generally occurs at around three years of age and a length of about 35 centimeters. Hogfish form harems, groups of females dominated by a larger male. The hogfish inhabits inshore patch reefs and seaward reefs. Size: 1-2 ft. (60cm).

Special Status or Protections: Hogfish are sought after by humans, due to their apparently unique taste and flavor. Unfortunately, this has led to fishing pressure that has reduced many populations to critically low levels, and the hogfish is now vulnerable to extinction. An assessment of the Florida stock led to the recommendation that the minimum size limit of hogfish that are captured in fisheries should be raised, which would reduce the pressure on the Florida stock. There have also been successful attempts at raising hogfish in captivity, and it is hoped that aquaculture will eventually reduce the fishing pressure on natural stocks of this intriguing fish.

Hog Fish Juvenile

Hog Fish Intermediate

Hogfish Adult

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