Giant kob (previously known as dusky kob) are found in estuaries and on rocky reefs and sandy bottoms from southern Mozambique to False Bay. They are also found off the coasts of Australia, Japan, Pakistan and India.

Juvenile giant kob find shelter in estuaries and feed on small copepods and mysid shrimps. Adults spend most of their time in the surf zone where they feed mainly on fish, but also on shrimp and squid.

Giant kob grow to 2m and can weigh up to 70kg.

Giant kob are one of South Africa’s most popular, but severely threatened linefish species.

Populations of giant kob have declined dramatically due to overfishing by recreational and commercial fishing. As a result, there are now strict recreational and commercial fishing regulations and this species is listed on the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative’s Customer Seafood List as Red if caught from linefishing or trawl. Farmed kob is listed as Green.

Although giant kob may be sold legally by registered commercial fishers and retailers, you should first enquire about the origins of the fish on the menu – if it was caught in the wild, consider other choices of seafood from healthier populations. If it is from an aquaculture farm, indulge!

(Photo: Geoff Spiby)

Species Facts

  • Large, silvery fish
  • Adults live in the sea, just off the surf zone; juveniles live in estuaries
  • Listed as Orange (caution) on SASSI