Dorado

The Dorado also known as Mahi-Mahi or Common Dolphin Fish is one of the typical fish you can expect to catch on a deep sea fishing trip in the Dominican Republic. There are 2 types of Dolphin Fish; the Common Dolphin Fish and The Pompano Dolphin Fish – neither of which are related to the mammal dolphin. The Pompano Dolphin typically lives shorter and is smaller than the Common Dolphin. It is often mistaken for a young Common Dolphin Fish.

Gigantic Dorado (approx. 50 lbs) caught on Marlin Chaser fishing boat

Gigantic Dorado (approx. 50 lbs) caught on Marlin Chaser fishing boat

Habitats:

This fish is found in many places of the world – in the Caribbean Sea, in the Pacific Ocean by Costa Rica, North- and South America, in the Atlantic Ocean by Florida, in Hawaii, in the South China Sea, and many other places. Dorado live in warm waters, with an average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (83 degrees Fahrenheit).

The male and female Dorado commonly stay together in pairs and can often be found hanging around larges patches or lines of Sargassum weeds (floating algae that can stretch for miles on the surface of the ocean), under debris such as wood, palm leaves, etc., floating in the ocean or around fish buoys (fish stations). These are great places for the Dorado to hide from other predators (e.g. Marlins) and the weeds make for an excellent place to feed. The Dorado is a carnivore (meat eater) that eats e.g. flying fish, bait fish, crabs, squid, mackerel shrimp, plankton and crustaceans.

General characteristics:

Dorados live up to 5 years, although most seldom live more than 4 years. The average size is somewhere between 7 and 13 kilograms (15 – 29 pounds). A Dorado weighing 15 kilograms is considered very big and Dorados weighing more than 18 kilograms are excepcional to find. Their bodies are solid with the dorsal fin running throughout its length. The Dorado is easily recognizable by its bold colors of gold, blue and green; colors that unfortunately fade to a yellowish-gray almost immediately once the fish is caught and out of the water.

Dorado caught in Punta Cana

Dorado caught in Punta Cana

Dorados are exceptionally fast swimmers and can reach speeds of up to 92 km/h (57.5 mph). The larger male has a very large, almost abnormal-looking forehead that rises well above its body, while the female is smaller and with a more rounded head. The female Dorado can spawn 2-3 times a year and produce anywhere between 80,000 to 1,000,000 eggs each time! The young Dorado is typically found in seaweed, where it can hide safely and easily feed on shrimp, crab, and other fish.

Catching and eating Dorados:

The Dorado is a popular fish to catch among recreational fishermen (e.g. tourists on deep sea fishing trips). Once you get it hooked on the line, the Dorado is fast, beautiful to watch, because of its bright colors, and it puts up a nice fight. Dorados are also popular on the menu of many seafood restaurants, as its white, flaky meat has a delicious taste and is excellent when prepared as a ceviche or on the grill.

Dorado caught in Punta Cana on the Marlin Chaser fishing boat

Dorado caught in Punta Cana on the Marlin Chaser fishing boat

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) place Dorados in the category of “moderate mercury” and suggest eating no more than 6 servings a month. Since Dorados eat other fish, etc., they are common carriers for Ciguatera poisoning (mercury poisoning). Source http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp 

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