Traceable Species



Scup can live a relatively long time, up to about 20 years, and are able to reproduce when they reach two years of age, when they’re about 8 inches (20 cm) long. Individual scup spawn once a year, with females releasing an average of 7,000 eggs, which are fertilized externally. Their eggs and larvae are found in the water column in coastal waters during warmer months. As larvae mature, they settle to the seafloor and develop into juveniles. Scup migrate north and inshore to spawn in the spring, then migrate south and offshore in autumn as the water cools, arriving by December in offshore areas where they spend the winter. Scup are browsers, feeding on invertebrates that live on the seafloor.


Food Info Scup


  • Appearance: White meat
  • Texture: Lean and tender, with large flakes but bony
  • Flavour: Mild, sweet flavour
  • Perfect serve: Scup contain lots of small bones, which make them difficult to fillet. As a result, they are generally sold and cooked whole, after they’ve been scaled and dressed. In fact, scup is often referred to as a “pan fish,” because its small size is excellent for pan frying or sautéing. Oven roasting whole fish is also a good option: this method softens the bones and allows the meat to slide off them more easily. Note: Scup can have tough, hard-to-scale-skin, so it’s easiest to have the fish scaled before buying.
Species Range
Scup range Source:
Scup by Bottom Trawl (USA) Jan 01 - Dec 31

Scup have been harvested along the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, between Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras, since colonial times. They are recognizable for their deep, thin bodies, and grow slowly, reaching an average length of 12 to 14 inches (30 to 35 cm) and 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kg).

Scup have dusky brown backs and silvery white bellies with an iridescent hue. Their sides and back may also be flecked or streaked with light blue. They are deep-bodied, about one-half as deep as they are long, and have front teeth that are very narrow, almost conical, and two rows of molars in their upper jaw. They have a distinct spiny dorsal fin. Scup are a mild tasting fish and are often served whole, given their small size.

Fishing Methods

{'fisheries': [<License: Scup by Bottom Trawl (USA)>], 'gear': <Gear: Bottom Trawl>}

Bottom Trawl

This fishery uses a large cone-shaped net that is dragged along the seafloor to catch fish. As the net is towed at low speed, hydrodynamic forces push two "otter boards" outwards opening the mouth of the net and capturing fish in its path.


Featured Harvester Bernie Berry

Mangrove Crab Harvester

Canavieiras, Brazil

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