What Do Mahi Mahi Fish Eat?

••• Dorado dolphin fish image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com

Mahi mahi, the Hawaiian name for the dolphin fish, is the name it goes by when it is sold in seafood markets and restaurants. A favorite of deep-sea fishermen and seafood lovers, the dolphin fish is not related to the marine mammal of the same name. It is a large, aggressive predator that feeds on a wide variety of ocean species.

Typical Diet

The mahi mahi feeds on small ocean fishes such as flying fish, man-o-war fish, sargassum fish and triggerfish. They also eat juveniles of large fish such as the tuna, billfish, mackerel and other dolphin fish. Other favorite foods include invertebrates such as octopus, squid, crabs and jellyfish.

Feeding Habits

Dolphin fish grow rapidly and have voracious appetites. They are swift, agile predators that feed in the daytime near the water’s surface. They often feed on small fish and shrimp found in sargassum, a type of free-floating brown seaweed found in coastal Atlantic waters.

Trash

Because the mahi mahi are indiscriminate foragers, they sometimes eat nonfood items found entangled in the seaweed in which they feed. According to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, items such as plastic wrappers, light bulbs and string have been found in the stomachs of dolphin fish.

References

About the Author

Based in the Atlanta area, Charlene Williams has been writing and editing since 1988. She has over 15 years of experience working as a technical writer in the software industry. She has worked as a freelance writer for the past five years, and is a contributing writer for eHow and Answerbag. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kennesaw State University.

Photo Credits

  • Dorado dolphin fish image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com

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