Beware of the sharp dorsal spines when handling highfin coral trout. To maximise their eating qualities these fish should be killed humanely by iki jime, or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding.
- Pink to deep red colour with blue or purple fins and wavy bands across the head and body, forming dots ventrally.
- There are 5 species of coral trout in Australian waters, distinguished mainly by their colouration, fin shapes and counts of gill rakers and fin rays. All have similar brain location.
- Coral trout are protogynous hermaphrodites which mature first as females before changing to males.
- Maximum reported age 26 years.
- Coral trouts (Plectropomus spp.) occur on coral and rocky reefs throughout the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific region. Some species, (e.g. Plectropomus pessuliferus) occur as far west as eastern Africa, while others e.g. barcheeked coral trout (Plectropomus maculatus) can be encountered in estuaries. This species occurs on coral reefs throughout the tropical central Indo-Pacific region from Malaysia and Indonesia to New Guinea, northern Australia and the islands of the western Pacific ocean.
- Highfin coral trout inhabit steep coral dropoffs to depths of around 140 meters.
Fish Size Common Length:
30-50 cm, maximum size around 75 cm and 4 kg.