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Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) - the only species in the family Rachycentridae - is a migratory pelagic fish that occurs in tropical and subtropical seas of the world, except in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. They have elongated spindle-shaped (fusiform) bodies and flattened heads, growing up to 2 meters in length and around 70 kilograms at maturity.

In the western Atlantic Ocean, spawning occurs during the warm months. Eggs and larvae are planktonic. Females grow faster than males. Cobia favor crustaceans for food, but will feed on other invertebrates and fishes as well. They attain a maximum size of over 60 kg.

Cobia are fished both commercially and recreationally. Commercially, they are usually caught incidentally in both hook-and-Iine and net fIsheries. In the United States, which ranks behind Pakistan, Mexico, and the Philippines in commercial production of cobia, recreational landings exceed commercial landings by more than ten-fold.

The Cobia's color is dark-brown above, a paler brown on sides and below; a black lateral band, as wide as the eye, extending from snout to base of caudal, bordered above and below by paler bands; below this is a narrower dark band. The black lateral band is very pronounced in the juvenile, but tends to become obscured in the adult. Fins mostly all deep or dusky brown; anal and pelvics pale with gray or dusky mark- ings; ventral surface grayish white to silvery (Briggs 1974, Fowler 1936, Hardy 1978, Smith 1907).

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