Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Amberjack, Greater

© Diane Rome Peebles
Amberjack, Greater Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Amberjack, Kanpachi, Madregal,Yellowtail U.S. South Atlantic Handline

Greater Amberjack, handline, U.S. South Atlantic

Greater amberjack is abundant, but is caught in a mixed species fishery that includes other fish whose populations have been depleted. This, along with concerns about damage to coral habitats, makes greater amberjack a "Good Alternative."

Consumer Note

Amberjack is known as kanpachi when prepared for sushi. It can be sold under the common market name of yellowtail. Be sure to ask where your amberjack comes from and how it was caught.


Greater amberjack is one of the largest members of the jack family of fish. It's fast growing and reproduces at a young age, traits that help it withstand the impacts of fishing.

Greater amberjack is found in warm, sub-tropical waters. It's mostly caught with handline, a type of gear that is typically benign but, when fished on the bottom, can impact fragile and long-lived corals.

In the U.S. South Atlantic, greater amberjack is caught with snappers, groupers and other fish in a mixed-species fishery. While greater amberjack is abundant, several of these other species are overfished. Fishery managers have not been able to reduce this serious bycatch concern.

For these reasons, U.S.-caught greater amberjack from the South Atlantic is a "Good Alternative."

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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat