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Romans are an endemic species found on rocky reefs off southern Africa at depths from 5m to 100m.

Like other sea breams, the roman has the ability to change sex, in this instance from female to male.

The male attracts a harem of females, with which he will mate. A large male is very aggressive and will defend his harem and territory against all intruders, including competitive males.

His frantic protective behaviour attracts the attention of predators, which increases his risk of being eaten.

Should this happen, the dominant female will immediately take over his role. Sex change takes a little longer.

SASSI status – Orange (Think twice)

Can change gender from female to male
Listed as Orange (caution) on SASSI’s Consumer Seafood List (see