This is a large group of fish ranging from the small, colourful basslets to the large Queensland groupers. Its a beautiful family of fish that loves playing hide and seek with the divers. Look inside caves and cracks, under ledges, or inside soft coral trees to find them in their hiding place. Many can adjust their colour to blend in with their surroundings.
The majority of species have three spines on the gill cover and a large mouth with more than one row of teeth. Generally these fish ambush prey using their colouration patterns for camouflage. Cod are also known as Groupers. The most common Cod around the Whitsundays are Honeycomb Cod, Coral Cod, Barramundi Cod and Potato Cod. These are protected species around the Great Barrier Reef and are threatened by habitat loss. Many species of this group are of commercial value.
However, fish among this group are among the worst offenders for causing ciguatera poisoning. There are size and bag restrictions for these fish within the Marine Park. All Potato Cod and Groupers over 120 centimetres in length are protected. The big Potato Cod (up to 1.8 meter!) is likely to follow your torch during a night dive and hunt little fish that comes into the light.