Yellowtail Kingfish make Tangalooma home

Tue, 05 Jun 2018

By Eco Ranger James

Yellowtail Kingfish make Tangalooma their new home

If you have been to Tangalooma before you may have met some of our locals, like the dolphins, pelicans and kookaburras. Over the last few months though, we have some other special visitors that have decided to call Tangalooma home. These amazing visitors are our large Yellowtail Kingfish that hunt in the waters under and around the jetty.

The Yellowtail Kingfish “seriola lalandi” are a member of the trevally family “carangidae”. They are commonly known as a “Kingfish” or “Kingys” by fishers and divers. Kingfish can grow up to 53kg and 173cm long in Queensland waters, although are more commonly seen around Tangalooma at approximately 10 kg and 120cm long.

As I was curious to know more information about the Kingfish migratory habits, numbers and behaviours that are currently displayed by these enormous fish around the jetty, I organised for some research tags from the Department of fisheries in NSW so I could tag the fish and record data . The tags are bright yellow with a serial number on them so the fish can be individually identified if recaptured. So far I have tagged 6 fish using a tagging pole from up on the jetty.

4 weeks on I am still observing the same tagged Kingfish coming in to the jetty which is proving these pelagic fish are residing here for the moment.

It will be interesting to see what the Kingfish do in the coming months as generally they are known to travel into Queensland waters throughout the colder months, and travel back South at the beginning of the Summer months. We are all very eager to see where the tagged Kingfish might end up as just recently, a recaptured Kingfish broke the record for most time at liberty (time between tagging). A Kingfish was captured at Eden NSW in November 2005 and after an amazing 4095 days at liberty, the Kingfish was recorded at Port Macquarie and had grown from 65cm and 2.5kg to 130cm and 20kg!

As the Kingfish are currently residing under the jetty, it provides us with a great opportunity to observe the fishes behaviour and record tag sightings. Unfortunately their number are declining in the wild due to overfishing.

About the author

Eco Ranger James

Once part of the Tangatours team, James is now one of the Eco Rangers at Tangalooma Island Resort's Eco Centre. James often joins in on the Whale Watching Cruise as the on board Eco Ranger.

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