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Seaweek 2010: Oceans of Life - ours to explore; ours to restore


• Coral trout are a type of grouper, predatory fish that live on coral reefs. They grow up to 120cm and weigh can weight up to 30kg although most individuals in the wild are around 80cm and 9kg.

• They are moderately sedentary fish, often seen waiting for prey to come past which they quickly snap up, and tend to be associated with specific areas of the reef slope.

• Adults feed on smaller reef fish using an ambush strategy (mainly at dusk) whilst juveniles feed on invertebrates living amongst the coral. They swallow prey whole, sucking them in by quickly opening their mouth, and holding them with hundreds of small teeth which cover the inside of the mouth.

• They play an important role on the reef where they control the populations of their prey fish species and therefore help maintain a healthy ecosystem.

• Coral trouts are considered very tasty by humans and in some countries reefs have been depleted of these types of fish because of the great demand. It is very important to monitor and regulate the fishing of coral trout in order to ensure that they are not overfished and disappear altogether.

• Reef Check Australia identify and monitor Coral trout, to indicate possible overfishing of this species. It is the main grouper which is eaten for food.

Interesting Fact: Male coral trout display extravagant courtship dances to attract females.

Further links:

• QLD government:

• ReefED:

• CRC Reef (Coral Trout):

• CRC Reef (Brochure of QLD coral trouts):




Coral trout from GBRMPA Image Collection

Coral trout from GBRMPA Image Collection

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