70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Fishy Fridays – John Dory

By: Judy Mann

Have you ever eaten a John Dory? Or perhaps visited the restaurant chain with the same name? Have you wondered what a John Dory is? The John Dory is really a strange-looking, oval-shaped fish, which is strongly compressed and has a large, highly protrusible mouth. It has an unusual target-like pattern in the center of the body. It is found around the world in temperate waters and is found right around southern Africa. This fish is a solitary, bottom dwelling fish generally found on the continental shelf and upper slope in depths of 50-400 m. Juveniles feed on zooplankton and adults feed on fish, crustaceans and squid. It uses its highly protrusible mouth to help catch food. They can reach a maximum size of 90 cm total length and a weight of 8.2 kg. Females have been aged up to a maximum of 15 years. They are mainly caught by trawlers and currently we do not know the status of the fish in South Africa.

More information on the John Dory.