Florida Seafood Products
Tilefish are members of the family Malacanthidae, which is a group of fish that is widespread in tropical and temperate waters.
Six different types occur along the Atlantic coast of the United States. Two of those types, the golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) and the blueline or gray tilefish (Caulolatilus microps), are fairly plentiful in Florida waters. The golden tilefish is the most colorful fish with a blue-green back that fades to a pearly white belly. It is touched with red and blue iridescence, highlighted by irregular yellow-gold spots and ocean-blue under the eyes. Combined with these colorful markings is the adipose flag or crest on the head. The blueline tilefish is similar in taste to the golden tilefish, but it is not as colorful and lacks the adipose flag.
Along the southeastern coast and in the Gulf, tilefish live in burrows and sometimes congregate in pods or small groups at depths ranging from 200 to more than 1,400 feet. As tilefish become larger they tend to live at greater depths. Tilefish do not school, but group in clusters near the heads and sides of submarine canyons along the outer continental shelf. The predominant fishing method is longlining with the greatest catch taken during the daylight hours. Adults weigh an average of 10-25 pounds.
More About Tilefish
- DACS-P-01414 Florida Seafood Healthy Facts Brochure (PDF)
- DACS-P-01549 Florida Seafood Buying Guide (PDF)
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