Greater yellowtail


Greater yellowtail are the largest of the three yellowtail species (Seriola) found in South African waters; they have an amber stripe running along the midside of the body and the second dorsal and anal fins are shorter than in the similar looking longfin yellowtail (Seriola rivoliana). There is an oblique dark band that runs from the eye to the back of the neck but this disappears with size.

Scientific Name: Seriola dumerili
Common Names: Greater yellowtail, Greater amberjack
Family: Carangidae
Size: 190cm total length and weighs up to 80kg


This fish is found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world’s oceans.


Adult greater yellowtail are often associated with deep rocky reefs and wrecks down to depths of 360m. Juveniles are often found under floating debris and sub-adults will sometimes congregate in schools. Large adults are usually solitary.


As opportunistic predators, these fish feed on a range of benthic and pelagic fish as well as squid and crustaceans. Fish commonly preyed upon by the greater yellowtail include big-eye scads and sardines. Juveniles feed on plankton such as decapod larvae and other small invertebrates.


Very little is known about the reproductive biology of this fish species.

Length at maturity:  109 cm fork length
Age at maturity: Unknown

Maximum age: ~17 years


This species is well known as a formidable angling species and is actively targeted by recreational anglers. In South Africa a technique known as “vertical jigging” is used to target this species in deep water.


Bag limit: 10
Minimum size: None
Closed Season: None
Other Restrictions: None
SASSI List: Treat as orange

Downloadable fact sheet