Other Names: Ocean triggerfish, (Canthidermis sufflamen)
Identification & Biology: Their size varies from 30 cm (1 foot) to 75 cm (2.5 feet).
Triggerfish have a roundish, laterally flat body with an anterior dorsal fin. They can erect the first two dorsal spines. the first one locks and the second one unlocks. This prevents predators from swallowing them or pulling them out of their holes. This locking and unlocking behaviour is why they are named 'triggerfish'.
They have a small pectoral fin fused to one spine. Unlike the spine of a filefish, the spine of the triggerfish can be held in place by a second spine to make the fish more threatening to the predator. Their small eyes, situated on top of their large head, can be rotated independently. They have tough skin, covered with rough rhomboid-shaped scales that form a tough armour on their body. Most are solitary and diurnal. They feed on hard-shelled invertebrates, a few feed on large zooplankton or algae.
Market Description: Triggerfish are “excellent” eating, with firm white flesh that is almost sweet in flavor - closer to crab than fish. In fact, you can probably substitute it for crab in many recipes.
Habitat: North Carolina to the Caribbean
Flavor Profile: Small flake, moist delicate meaty flavor
Fishing Technique: hook & line, trawling
Special Note: Dorsal fin locks in place lodging fish in crevices