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Yellowtail Kingfish

Yellowtail Kingfish

Seriola lalandi

The yellowtail kingfish has an elongate, fusiform (torpedo-shaped) body covered in fine, smooth scales. The tail fin is forked and distinctly yellow in colour, and a broad yellow stripe is evident from the snout extending to the tail. The fish has a countershaded body, being a darker blue-green on the upper surface and a silvery-white underneath allowing for maximum camouflage against predators if looked at from above or below. This body design provides efficient power for swimming and results in the yellowtail kingfish being an active predator, feeding primarily on other fish.

Yellowtail kingfish are an oceanic surface fish and often occur in large schools on rocky coastal reefs, near deep dropoffs, and adjacent sandy areas in temperate waters, where they occasionally enter into estuaries. Large adults are most commonly found offshore, while smaller sub-adults form large schools close to the coast. Juveniles are rarely seen, they remain pelagic and camouflage well against floating debris and weed. Yellowtail kingfish occur predominantly in southern Australian waters, from Trigg Island, Western Australia to the Capricorn Group, Queensland.

Yellowtail kingfish are one of the fastest growing species, reaching maturity after two years old at 50 centimetres in length. They grow to a maximum size of 2.5 metres, with a life span of up to 21 years.

Being large, powerful fish makes the yellowtail kingfish a popular target for game fishing, however the flesh of the fish from northern waters is often heavily affected with a parasitic worm, which turns the flesh to mush when cooked

Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty:

Small schools of 6 to 12 adults are occasionally seen from the underwater observatory as they pass through the area.

Image by: O.Rynvis