Tropical amberjack caught off Isle of Wight

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A fisherman has caught a tropical marine carangid fish while fishing off the Isle of Wight in southern England in the first recorded occurrence of the species in British waters.

Geoff Blake from Ventnor on the Isle of Wight noticed the fish while bringing in his nets during a fishing trip just 200 yards off the shore in water around 6m/20 feet deep. Blake told The Daily Mail: "When I looked at it I knew it was something out of the ordinary. As I looked closer I realised it was more like the kind of fish I saw when I was on a sailing holiday in the Caribbean."

Blake later identified the fish as a Lesser amberjack, Seriola fasciata, which is believed to represent the first occurrence of the species in British waters. The Lesser amberjack is a member of the family Carangidae and is normally found in the tropical waters of the western Atlantic, where it has been recorded from South and Central America and the southern USA.

It's far less common on the eastern side of the Atlantic, and many of the occurrences are believed to be misidentified Guinean amberjacks, Seriola carpenteri. The Lesser amberjack can reach a size of just over 60cm/24" and can weigh up to 4.6kg/10 lbs.

The fish was sent to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth for examination. Douglas Herdson, the aquarium information officer at the Aquarium told the Daily Mail: "I'm waiting to see this one. It's very difficult to tell exactly what it is at the moment because there are four amberjacks that could turn up in Britain. They are very rare but seem to be becoming more common.

"When the first couple turn up you put it down to strays, but when you get this many turning up over eight years that's a different story. The most obvious reason for this is changing sea temperature."

The Seriola genus contains nine species. You can view the recorded distribution of the species on Fish Mapper.