Harvestfish - Peprilus paru

*Information from FAO Species Identification Guide Western Central Atlantic*

Maximum to 30 cm, commonly to 18 cm.
Habitat, biology, and fisheries

A pelagic fish forming large schools in coastal bays, inshore waters over the continental shelf and around islands at moderate depths (50 to 70 m) where it occurs throughout the year; juveniles found in shallow coastal waters under floating weeds or in association with medusae. Adults feed mainly on jellyfish and small fish, crustaceans and worms; the juveniles are plankton feeders. Caught mainly with otter trawls, also seines; marketed fresh and frozen, exported to Japan where it has been well received. Fishing in the area occurs mainly in inshore waters off eastern Florida, the northeastern part of the Gulf, western Venezuela and the Guianas; also may be fished occasionally on the Campeche Bank. Prior to about 1990, except for a short period in the early 1960s, only negligible amounts of harvestfishwere landed.Venezuela has developed its fishery since then, and currently (1996) is landing about 2,000 t annually.

Florida, Gulf of Mexico, coasts of Venezuela, Trinidad and the Antilles: infrequent in the western Caribbean, and absent from Bermuda and Bahamas. Along the Atlantic coasts of America it extends from about Chesapeake Bay (straying rarely to the Gulf of Maine) south to warm continental shelf waters of Argentina.