Beware of the strong jaws and sharp dorsal and anal spines of snapper when handling them. The eating qualities of this species can be greatly improved if they are killed humanely by iki jime or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding.
- Snapper are pink with small bright blue spots scattered on the upper flanks, fading to a white underbelly. Very small juveniles have faint vertical dark bands.
- This species is slow growing and long lived. Growth rates vary in different locations - a fish that matures at around 30 cm long can be as young as 3 or as old as 8 years. The differences in growth rate are thought to be due to variation in food availability and water temperature. Maximum age exceeds 40 years.
- This species occurs in New Zealand, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island, and around mainland Australia from about Townsville in QLD south to Cape Cuvier (Western Australia), including Tasmania.
- Juveniles and small adults occur in bays and inlets, whereas adults are usually found offshore near rocky reefs to depths of around 200 meters.
Fish Size Common Length:
25-75 cm, maximum size around 130 cm and 20 kg.