They are commonly found around sheltered inshore reefs drifting around caves and crevices in depths from 2-260 metres. Boarfish may be territorial over small areas of reef and can confront divers who enter these areas. This behaviour makes them susceptible to spearing resulting in concern about stock levels leading to the prohibition on this method of capture.
Mainly taken in gillnets and rarely caught on a line due to their very small mouth. Their diet consists of small invertebrates including crustaceans and marine worms.
The dorsal spines can cause a painful wound, so take care removing fish entangled in a net or when cleaning this fish.
Boarfish are good eating with white, firm and tasty flesh.
Recipe: Pan Fried Boarfish:
1 kg boarfish fillets; 3 cloves garlic, crushed; lime or lemon rind, finely chopped; ½ cup olive oil; salt and pepper; fresh thyme or other herb if preferred.
Mix ingredients together and marinate boarfish for 20 minutes. Preheat pan to hot, then add olive oil and sear boarfish for 2-3 minutes each side. Remove pan with boarfish in it and allow to stand in the oven or under foil for 3-5 minutes.