Greater amberjack are a popular recreational and commercially sought species. A member of the large and popular jack family, greater amberjack are just one branch on a compliated family tree. A variety of market names and terms are used to help distinguish the jacks from one another.
Greater amberjack is also farm raised – we call that fish Kanpachi. Not to be confused with:
- Farmed Hamachi – Seriola quinqueradiata – Japanese Amberjack / Buri – sometimes that term is used to single out adult Hamachi
- Farmed Hiramasa – Seriola lalandi – Yellowtail Amberjack (FDA Yellowtail or Amberjack)
- Farmed Kampachi – Seriola rivoliana – Almaco Jack, Hawaiian Yellowtail
- Lesser Amberjack (Wild) – Seriola fasciata
Keeping your jacks organized isn’t easy, but they each have subtle differences and attributes. If you’re looking at different options, make sure you’re careful about your comparisons.
Greater Amberjack are managed by NOAA Fisheries and the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, while the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands co-manage the greater amberjack fishery in territorial waters.
Strict control of fishing permits, trip and size limits, seasonal closures, gear restrictions and marine protected areas are all enforced to help protect this valuable resource and to make sure fishing impacts are minimized.
Although some populations are below target levels, U.S. wild-caught greater amberjack is still a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
Range & Habitat: Found in sub-tropical waters around the world, we bring in wild greater amberjack from the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic.
Market Description: Thanks to Barton Seaver for giving us a great description of the jacks, “fleshy or athletic, with a concise flake and a greasy richness. The flesh has a distinctive dewey luminescence of the fat; generally creamy white with tan undertones, sometimes ranging to a marked orange tine.” He also compared Hawaiian Kampachi (Seriola rivoliana) to foie gras, which helps you understand the natural richness of these fish.
Sold as: whole, filets, loins
Flavor Profile: Greater Amberjack has a distinctive flavor, the larger the fish the more pronounced the flavor becomes.
Fishing Technique: hook & line
Suitable Sub: Anything within the Seriola family.
Recommended Preparation: If you can order whole fish, definitely do so. As you fillet the fish you’ll end up with some great parts – like collars – that are delicious on the grill.