The giant yellowtail lives in the cold Atlantic waters off the Cape. During the annual winter sardine run, they migrate towards the east coast of southern Africa to feast on the sardines. 

Yellowtail gather in large shoals offshore, at depths of up to 110m. They are fast torpedo-shaped predatory fish that feed on smaller fish and squid.

Yellowtail is an important commercial line-fish species in the Western Cape. There is no minimum legal size at which yellowtail may be caught, but since most females only reach sexual maturity at 1.2m (between two and three years of age) and most males at 900mm, it is vitally important that anglers and fisheries ensure that smaller yellowtail are not removed from the ocean as they still need time to mature and reproduce.

Yellowtail is currently listed as a green species by SASSI. Green-listed species are a good choice because they are more plentiful and they can cope better with fishing pressure. 

Species Facts

  • Inhabits cold Atlantic Cape waters
  • Migrates to warm Indian Ocean in pursuit of sardines
  • Also known as yellow amberjack.