The jacopever is a distinctive fish, its colour is highly variable, usually with pink-red blotches and irregular dark patches that form excellent camouflage in deep water. Their short but stock bodies are protected by sharp spines along their dorsal fins and pectoral fins.

It is an ambush predator that uses its cryptic colouration and the darkness of the depths at which it lives to ambush smaller fish and invertebrates that swim past it. Its spines contain venom that is used to protect the jacopever from larger predators. Venom is known to be harmful to humans.

This fish lives at great depths on sandy continental slopes, ranging from 50m to over 1km in water depth.

Jacopevers are widely distributed throughout the Atlantic, ranging from South Africa to Venezuela, Iceland and the Mediterranean Sea.

The jacopever is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. Due to its procurement as bycatch of unsustainable trawling methods, this is a SASSI red-listed species in South Africa and should not be eaten.

Species Facts

  • Also knows as a blackbelly rosefish, bluemouth rockfish, Jacks, Jocs and bluemouth seaperch.
  • The name “jacopever” comes from the name of a hideously pockmarked Dutch sailor that the fish was named after in jest.
  • Grows up to 47cm and 1,5kg.
  • Can live over 40 years.
  • Has venomous spines and is harmful to humans.