John Dory - Zeus Faber


Latin: Zeus Faber

English: John Dory, St Pierre, Peter's Fish

German: Der Petersfisch, Heringskönig, Sonnen-, Christus-, Martinsfisch, Saint Pierre

French: Saint-Pierre

Italian: Il Pesce San Pietro

Spanish: El Pez de San Pedro

Croatian: Kova─Ź, Šanpjer, Sveti Petar, Petrova Riba

About: John Dory is a fish of the Zeidae family. It has an oval, laterally compressed olive-yellow-brownish body which has a large dark spot and very long spines on the dorsal fin. Large eyes at the front of the head provide John Dory with binocular vision and depth perception, which are important for predators that feed on small, schooling fish - even when they have such a big mouth.

It's maximum weight is around 3 kg and length about 60 cm. On average, it has around 0.4 kg. They are generally solitary.

In the Mediterranean, it spawns at the end of winter, little bit later in Atlantic.

Habitat: John Dory is found worldwide. In Eastern Atlantic, in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

In Western Pacific around coasts of Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. It is also found in the Indian Ocean (west coast of Africa, around Madagascar, India etc.).

They live usually near the seabed, living in depths from 5 meters to 400 meters, but much more commonly between 40 - 150 m.

Fishing period: It is caught all year long, but more often in summer and autumn, when it can be found more often in shallower waters.

Fishing rigs and tackle: Best form of recreational fishing is longline - it can be set day or night, although it is best caught early in the morning. Also, it can be caught on rod and reel and even on handline from shore during summer, but not so often.

When trolling at low speeds, it can be caught on lure mimicking sardines and similar schooling fish or on live bait.

As bait, one should use sardines or similar small fishes, whole or cut in suitably sized chunks.

john-dory-zeus-faber-fish-market-sJohn Dory on fish market.
Photo by N.M.

Cuisine: It is one of the best tasting fish species with excellent taste and aroma. It can be barbequed, steamed, fried, boiled, even microwaved. Mixed with other fish can be used for stews and soups. As with any other fish, feel free to use olive oil, some garlic, parsley etc, but not too much.

In some parts of the world, it's liver is also consumed.