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epinephelus marginatus (Gabiniere)

The big Mediterranean grouper with a massive mouth is the dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus) or mérou brun. They can live up to 50 years, change colour to camouflage themselves and grow up to nearly 5ft (5.1m) in length—making large males a favourite target of spear fishers (they are all male...another grouper trick is to change sex once it reaches a certain size). But there are many stories of how they can be friendly around divers and become local celebrities (until of course some out-of-towner comes and nabs them). They are one of the only predators that eat invasive and poisonous lionfish.

Most groupers of the ones sold on fish stands are smaller, 1-3kg females. The fillets are simply baked in the oven, but there are dozens of other recipes, too.

Fish and seafood

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by albert kok