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Yellow Spotted Rock Cod (Epinephelus areolatus) Photographs and Information

Rock cod inhabit tropical and subtropical waters. Yellow spotted Rock Cod are distributed from East Africa and the Red Sea to the western Pacific and from southern Japan to Australia. They are found in water depth ranging from 6 to 200 metres on coral reefs and rocky outcrops and in shallower water over silty sand and seagrass beds.

Yellow spotted Rock Cod are carnivores and feed mainly on fishes, prawns and crabs.

Rock cod is a fish that actually does not belong to the cod family, but instead is more closely related to a grouper.

Did you know? Rock Cod live in groups that have only three to thirteen members. There is usually only one male Rock Cod fish per group, with two to 12 female fish. One of the females will be dominant and act as the protector of the group and its territory.

yellow spotted rock cod, cod fish, Grouper or Sea Bass (Epinephelus species)

map showing where yellow spotted rock cod are found in australian waters

Grouper or Sea Bass (Epinephelus species)
French: Merou
German: Zackenbarsch
Italian: Cernia; Sciarrano
Spanish: Mero; Cherna; Garoupa
Japanese: Mahata
Hawaii names: Hapu`upu`u

Scientific Name Epinephelus areolatus
Location Western Pacific, coral reefs
Season All year round
Size To 35 cm
Australian Species Code 37 311901
Taste, Texture sweet to mild flavour, soft to firm flakes.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Reef Cod fillet.

Kilojoules n/a
Cholesterol 27 mg
Sodium n/a
Total fat (oil) 0.6 g
Saturated fat 35% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 16% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 49% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 13 mg
Omega-3, DHA 152 mg
Omega-6, AA 25 mg


Other Yellow Spotted Reef Cod Links:


Recipes for Cod from How To Cook Fish

Exporters of Reef Cod
Importers of Reef Cod
Processors of Reef Cod
Wholesale Suppliers of Reef Cod 
Seafood Agents for Reef Cod

Angling for Yellow Spotted Rock Cod:

Recreational fisherman target rock-cods in inshore areas. Methods of fishing include lures live or cut baits, jigs and deep running trolling lures and heavy handlines.

Saltwater Fish - What bait to use for fishing - a list of saltwater baits with the main "diners" who will be tempted.

Cooking Yellow Spotted Rock Cod:

Raw fillet of rock cod is white. When cooked the flesh has large soft to firm flakes and a low fat content. The flavour is sweet to mild and has a fishy flavour. It is usually sold as fillets or cutlets, though smaller fish are often sold whole.

The flesh of this fish is white, flaky, and tender. The taste is slightly sweet and mild with a somewhat fishy taste and odor. The fish contains very little fat, so it is a healthy meal choice. It is delicious when fried, but is also popular smoked or in sushi dishes.

Colour of raw fillet:



Large soft to firm flakes.

Fat Content:



Sweet to mild, fishy flavour.

Microwave Cooking Times for Fish
- Fish fillets – 5 minutes per 500g on medium-high, +50 seconds more for thicker fillets, or until flesh flakes
- Whole fish - Large – 6 minutes/750g on medium
- Whole fish – Small – 3-4 minutes on medium

Easy Fish Recipes - From How To Cook Fish

Panko crusted cod fish recipe photo Cod fish recipe, cod florentine recipe photo Cod fish recipe, spanish salt cod fritters cod fish recipe, wild alaska tamarind cod
Panko Crusted Cod Cod Florentine Spanish Salt Cod Fritters Wild Alaska Tamarind Cod

Commercial Fishing for Yellow Spotted Rock Cod:

Rock-cod are a commercial catch in Australia, though are generally not a targeted species, usually being the by-catch of Lethrinidae fisheries. They are caught using demersal otter trawling, traps, droplines and handlines.

Commercial operators are authorised to use baited traps and vertical lines, including hand lines and drop lines. Prior to 1999, most operators in the fishery used drop lines. During 1999-2000, there was an industry-wide change to trap fishing, with only one operator using drop lines in 2002. In 2004, there was a reversal of this trend when many operators went back to drop lines; but by 2009, most operators were again using traps. In 2010, one vessel used drop lines and six vessels used traps, reflecting the developing nature of the wider fishery grounds.


Gold-band snappers are the principal target of the fishery, comprising the three species Pristipomoides multidens, P. typus and P. filamentosus. Together, they comprise 52% of the total catch (Figure 2), with P. multidens being the most common. Other key species caught in the fishery are saddle-tail snapper (Lutjanus malabaricus), crimson snapper (L. erythropterus), red emperor (L. sebae) and cods (Family Serranidae) (Figure 2). There was very little change in 2010 in the species composition from 2009.

Byproduct species made up 9% of the overall catch in the fishery. As well as red emperor (Lutjanus sebae), byproduct species include small snappers (such as L. russelli and L. lemniscatus) rock cods (such as Epinephelus areolatus), emperors (such as red spot emperor, Lethrinus lentjan) and Robinson’s sea bream (Gymnocranius grandoculus).



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