Common Name: Amberjack
Scientific Names: Seriola species
Description: Juveniles around 30cm up to larger fish of 90cm are seen snorkelling and diving. The streamlined body with powerful crescent shaped tail is typical of ‘jacks’. The body is silvery and the diagonal line through the eye is a very distinctive feature.
Distinctive Features: The diagonal line through the eye is very distinctive.
Abundance: Individuals, or in groups of 2 or 3 or more. Once you know what to look out for, they can be routinely seen at a wide range of sites, although the experience will often be fleeting. They will only be seen by looking up and out into the water column rather than at the seabed.
Habitat & Behaviour: They live in the water column and patrol around rocky reefs searching for small fish to feed on, which they attack with explosive bursts of speed.
Reaction to Snorkellers & Divers: Perhaps surprisingly they can be filmed by snorkelling relatively easily, though they will not stop their endless patrolling. Whilst they will often swim past divers they frequently return as they continue their search for food.
Other Notes: The species seen off Malta are likely to be either Greater amberjack (S. Dumerili) or Guinean amberjack (S. Carpenteri).
Text: Bob Earll
Photo: Russell & Gill Bennett
Video: Bob Earll & Julia Jagoditsc