Q:

Can you eat tarpon?

A:

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, tarpon are not eaten. Tarpon is a fish that is prized as a gamefish because it puts up a good fight. In some places, a fisherman needs a permit to actually harvest tarpon; most of the time, tarpon is caught and released. There are two species of tarpon, the Atlantic tarpon and the Indo-Pacific tarpon.

The tarpon is known for its bright silver scales that flash when it leaps out of the water. It can live in many habitats, though it is considered a marine fish. The tarpon can live in water with a low salt content and even enter fresh water as juveniles. However, the fish is sensitive to cold water and prefers the waters of tropical and subtropical areas.

Another notable thing about the tarpon is how it has adapted to oxygen-poor water. It has a modified air bladder that can take in oxygen from the air. There is evidence that the fish must breathe this way from time to time whether it is in oxygen-poor water or not.

As with many fish, female tarpon are larger than the males. A female can grow to over 8 feet long and weigh close to 355 pounds. Males are a bit smaller.


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