John Dory

Zeus Faber
John Dory - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Zeus Faber
Other names Doorkeeper's Fish, Keparu, Kuparu, Peter's Fish, St Pierre Fish
Size Up to 65 cm (25.5 in)
Weight Up to 3 kg (6.6 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Deepsea, continental shelf, sandy, silty & muddy areas in & near rocks & reefs
Depth Range
John Dory Distribution

Interesting Info

  • John Dory are generally thought to be solitary or in small groups, schooling during spawning season. They widespread throughout Australian coastal and offshore waters.
  • They are commonly know as Saint Peter’s Fish or St Pierre, referring the biblical story where this species of fish is brought to Jesus by Peter.
  • John Dory are carnivores predators, feeding on smaller fish, crustaceans, squid & cuttlefish. They capture prey by extending their mouth open like a tube and sucking them in.
  • Estimated lifespan is around 12 years with the fish maturing between 3 & 4 years of age.
  • The main predators of Dory include sharks, larger predatory fish & marine mammals.
Species Interaction

Commercial & Recreational Fishing

John Dory are a popular sports fish known for their great taste. They are mostly caught from boats as they are a deeper water fish. As John Dory are a solitary fish they are not targeted commercially although they are a important bycatch species for commercial fisheries.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Zeiformes

Family: Zeidae

Genus: Zeus

Species: Zeus faber

Conservation Status

Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)John Dory are categorised as “Data Deficient” as there is not enough information on the species for proper assessment.
However, as its a fast growing species there are limited concerns of over fishing.

Fish Taste Quality

John Dory are a great table fish. Often served whole or in fillets.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch
John Dory

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Anchovy, Fresh cut flesh baits, Lures, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure, Cast lures close to structure

Popularity: Highly Targeted

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