Eat Gulf Seafood

Species

Meet Fish

With more than 900 fish species found in the Gulf, you can bet that fish form a vital part of our local ecosystem. From 2-pound striped mullets to 100-pound black drums, our Gulf waters are full of interesting, diverse, and delicious fish species. To download a complete list of Gulf Coast species by state, click here.

View Types of Fish Species  »

Watch Fish

Fish Taco Recipe with Red Snapper

Learn how to cook up delicious fish tacos with fresh Gulf Coast red snapper. Watch as chef Nealy Frentz and musician Duke Bardwell show you how to make this simple and healthy recipe.

Eat FishView All Fish Recipes   »

Grilled Gulf Snapper

Grilled Gulf Snapper

2

25

min
grill

Nutrition

Fish species vary in terms of nutrition so make sure to check the nutritional information of a particular species for detailed data. Generally speaking, fish are low in saturated fat, high in protein, high in omega-3 fats, and full of healthy minerals. The FDA recommends that we eat up to 12 ounces (about two meals) of fish low in mercury per week.

View Nutritional Chart »

Species Types

Black Drum
Weighing up to 90 pounds, black drum is an impressive fish. These grey-black fish are found everywhere in the Gulf, but are most prominent in Texas and Louisiana. Black drum feed along the deep Gulf waters, crushing mollusks and crabs with their powerful rounded teeth. The black drum we consume are typically on the smaller side (since smaller fish are easier to cook and more flavorful) and have a mild flavor similar to red drum.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

Mahi-Mahi
Mahi-Mahi are beautiful, delicious Gulf fish primarily caught in Louisiana and Florida. You can spot mahi-mahi by their gold, blue, and green exterior. Mahi-mahi can weigh up to 40 pounds and feed on flying fish, crab, mackerel, and more. You’ll find them swimming near the warmer surface waters.

Although “mahi-mahi” means “very strong” in Hawaiian, the flavor of this fish is actually quite delicate and sweet.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

Flounder
If you see the Gulf flounder swimming around, you might notice something different: It swims on its side! The flounder tilts its body so that its eyes (both on the same side) look upwards as it swims.

Flounder found in the Gulf usually weigh about two pounds and eat small fish species dwelling in deep waters. Their brown speckled bodies allow them to easily hide along the Gulf’s sandy, rocky floor. Flounder have a mild, tender taste and flaky texture perfect for sautéing and stuffing.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

Grouper
You’ll find a variety of grouper species in the Gulf, including black grouper, gag grouper, red grouper, yellowfin grouper, and yellow edge grouper. The Gulf waters are also full of spotted grouper species such as red hind grouper, speckled hind grouper, and rock hind grouper. The size of grouper depends on the species type, but grouper found in the Gulf can range from 5 pounds (rock hind grouper) to an enormous 200 pounds (black grouper).

Grouper are found in both shallow and deep waters of the Gulf, off the coast of every Gulf state. Grouper are generally firmer in texture than other white fish, making this species great for frying and grilling.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

Mackerel
King mackerel and Spanish mackerel are both found in the Gulf waters during their migratory seasons. From November through March, you’ll find king mackerel (sometimes called king fish) moving from Texas toward Florida. Come spring, you’ll find the Spanish mackerel along the northern Gulf waters; in the fall, this fish heads back toward Mexico and the western Gulf waters. Spanish mackerel are blue-silver in color and usually weigh up to 10 pounds; king mackerel is similar in color but generally larger in size. A king mackerel can weigh anywhere from 10 to 90 pounds!

Mackerel’s firm texture makes it easy to cook in almost any method. Compared to other Gulf fish, mackerel has a strong flavor.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

Mullet
Mullet are found throughout the Gulf, with the striped mullet being by far the most common. Mullet swim in large schools and feed on algae and other small species. Mullet can reach up to 10 pounds, but most weigh about two pounds. The striped mullet is also called the “jumping mullet,” because it regularly jumps out of the water to evade predators.

Mullet is found in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama. This fish’s high oil content makes it great for smoking and eating; although it’s most frequently used as bait to catch other fish.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

Snapper
Snapper is a very large family of fish with multiple unique species. Snapper species most commonly found in the Gulf include red snapper, yellowtail snapper, mangrove snapper, and lane snapper.

Snapper species are found in all Gulf states, with the red snapper being the most popular. Snappers have broad, sloped bodies and small dorsal fins. Different species are different colors and sizes – ranging from as small as 2 pounds (lane snapper) to as large as 90 pounds (red snapper).

Snapper species found in the Gulf are considered especially delicious, given their light flavor and flaky texture.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

Swordfish
Found throughout the Gulf, swordfish are a unique species known for their predatory nature and long, skinny bills. Swordfish are dark grey and silver-white in color, and can easily weigh 100 pounds. They swim in both deep and shallow waters, preferring to travel alone rather than in packs as they prey on mackerel, herring, bluefish, and many other species.

Swordfish are most commonly served as steaks. They’re firm in texture and strong in flavor.

Illustration courtesy of Wikipedia, Public Domain

Tuna
Tuna is a large, predatory fish found in all Gulf states. Gulf tuna species include yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, and blackfin tuna, with yellowfin being the most popular (and bluefin being illegal to catch). Yellowfin tuna – often called “ahi tuna” – can reach up to 200 pounds, whereas blackfin tuna generally don’t exceed 40 pounds. Tuna travel in schools and are known for their speedy, aggressive swimming styles.

Tuna is rich in flavor and soft yet dense in texture. It’s often blackened or seared.

Illustrations compliments of Alabama Gulf Seafood

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