Grouper (Dusky) (Epinephelus marginatus)

Grouper (Dusky)

  • Size 90 cm
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Low
  • Habitats Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Dusky Grouper is the most common Grouper species in the Mediterranean Sea. Also called Yellowbelly Grouper and Yellowbelly Rock Cod, this fish is an absolute delicacy in some European countries. As the Spanish say, “De la mar el mero y de la tierra el carnero” — from the sea the Dusky Grouper, and from the land the lamb. Need we say more?

How big?

Dusky Groupers typically reach around 90 cm in length and weigh 3-10 kg on average. They can occasionally grow as large as 150 cm. The IGFA world record was a 21.25 kg (46 lb 13 oz) Dusky caught in Italy.

When and Where

This Grouper species mainly inhabits the Mediterranean Sea and eastern Atlantic Ocean. Anglers frequently hook into this fish everywhere from the North African coast, Spain, and Portugal, south to the Cape of Good Hope, and east as far as Mozambique. Dusky Groupers also live in parts of the southwestern Atlantic, off the coasts of Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina. They are far less common in the waters around South America.

Like many Grouper species, “Duskies” tend to stick around all year. You’ll typically find this fish near bottom structure like rocks, reefs, and wrecks, anywhere from surface waters to depths of 300 meters. You can find Juvenile Duskies inshore, along with adult fish living in protected areas where anglers don’t fish for them.

How to Catch Dusky Grouper

Recreational anglers can catch Dusky Grouper mainly by bottom fishing and longline fishing in countries where this technique is legal. Spearfishing for trophy sized fish is very popular among anglers in the Mediterranean. This species is slow to reproduce, however, which makes it susceptible to overfishing. As a result, some countries have placed bans and strict regulations on Dusky Grouper fishing.

Dusky GrouperDusky Grouper caught while spearfishing in Greece

Good to eat?

This flaky fish has a mild, yet distinctive taste. You can prepare the meat in many ways, and it’s commonly used in European fish stews. Dusky Grouper is a staple in restaurants in Spain, France, Italy, and other European countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Fish Species Similar to Grouper (Dusky)

Grouper (Black)

Grouper (Broomtail)

Grouper (Gag)

Grouper (Goliath)

Grouper (Red)

Grouper (Scamp)

Grouper (Snowy)


Top Grouper (Dusky) Fishing Charters