Triggerfish are easy to identify when whole – their roundish, flat body, tough skin and tell-tale dorsal spines are rather unique. They can “trigger” these strong dorsal spines and lock them in place as a defensive technique – locking themselves into tight crevices for protection.
Triggerfish eat small crabs, shrimp and sand dollars on the bottom of the ocean floor. They have small, strong jaws that specialize in crushing and cutting holes in their hard-shelled prey. They even will shoot a stream of water from their mouths, towards the bottom, revealing their prey.
Triggerfish are delicious, with firm white flesh that is mild with a slightly sweet finish. The fillets cook quickly, making them great for sandwiches, or pan frying and finishing with a squeeze of lemon – keep it simple and let the fresh flavor of locally caught triggerfish be the star of the dish!