GOLD IN THEM THAR DEPTHS

Sport Fishing - - FISH FACTS - —Ben Dig­gles

While fish­ing a metal jig about 450 feet down off Mit­sio Is­land near Nosy Be, Mada­gas­car, my good friend Philippe Plet­incx caught this and an­other like it. What can you tell us about these fish? Jean Fran­cois Helias an­glingth­ai­land.com Bangkok, Thai­land

That is a very nice spec­i­men of a gold­banded job­fish (Pris­tipo­moides mul­ti­dens). These fish, also known as gold­banded snap­per, are deep­wa­ter snap­pers (fam­ily Lut­janidae) that oc­cur widely through­out the trop­i­cal Indo-Pa­cific re­gion from Samoa in the Cen­tral Pa­cific west to the Red Sea in the west­ern In­dian Ocean. They ap­pear very sim­i­lar to sev­eral other closely re­lated deep­wa­ter job­fishes but are dif­fer­en­ti­ated by the bro­ken yel­low­ish-golden stripes on the flanks and two or three golden bands bor­dered with faint blue over the top of the head. This species ma­tures at around 15 to 20 inches, and grows to around 36 inches and 20 or more pounds. Gold­banded snap­per are a rel­a­tively slow-grow­ing species with a max­i­mum age around 30 years. They spend most of their lives near the seafloor in schools over ar­eas of rocky reef or drop-offs near off­shore is­lands to depths of over 600 feet, though most com­monly in the 200- to 500-foot range. They feed mainly on other fishes but also crus­taceans and squids, and are ex­cel­lent eat­ing.

Gold­banded MREƓVK

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