Can You Eat Remora? | The Pros & Cons of Eating “Suckerfish”

Are you curious about remora fish? These small, flat, grayish-black fish with a distinctive dorsal fin that acts like a suction cup are known for their unusual lifestyle of attaching themselves to larger marine animals such as sharks, rays, and whales. But can you eat remora? In this blog post, we will dive into the pros and cons of consuming remora fish, from their nutritional value and taste to the potential risks and ethical considerations. Let’s get hooked!

What Is Remora Fish, and How Is It Used?

First things first, let’s clarify what we mean by remora fish. There are about eight species of fish in the family Echeneidae, commonly known as remoras or suckerfish. These fish have a flattened body, a thick head, and a modified dorsal fin that acts as a suction cup, allowing them to attach to larger animals for transportation and feeding purposes. Some species of remoras also have a commensal relationship with their hosts, meaning they may clean their skin or eat their parasites.

Can You Eat Remora?

Yes, it is safe to eat remora fish. In some cultures, such as in Japan and China, remora fish are considered a delicacy and are consumed in various forms, including grilled, fried, and even raw.

Remora fish are not commonly caught or sold for human consumption, but they are sometimes used as bait for larger fish or for their oil, which is said to have medicinal properties.

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What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Remora Fish?

Remora fish are a good source of protein, with about 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of fish. They also contain some essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorus. However, as with most seafood, the nutritional value of remora fish may vary depending on the species, location, and diet.

What Does Remora Fish Taste Like?

The taste of remora fish is mild and slightly sweet, with a firm texture. Some people compare it to the taste of squid or octopus, while others describe it as bland or fishy. However, the taste of remora fish may also depend on how it is prepared and cooked.

What Are the Risks of Eating Remora Fish?

While remora fish may offer some nutritional benefits and a unique taste, there are also some potential risks and concerns associated with consuming them. Here are some of the main ones:


Remora fish, like most fish, may contain parasites that can cause foodborne illnesses such as anisakiasis or tapeworm infections. To reduce the risk of parasitic infections, it is important to properly clean, cook, and freeze fish before eating them.


As with most predatory fish, remora fish may contain high levels of mercury, which can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. Pregnant women, young children, and people with compromised immune systems should be cautious when consuming fish with high mercury content.


While remora fish are not endangered, their use as bait or food may contribute to overfishing or bycatch of other marine species. It is important to consider the environmental impact of consuming remora fish and to choose sustainable seafood options whenever possible.

How to Prepare and Cook Remora

If you’re interested in trying remora for yourself, here’s a guide on how to prepare and cook it.

Preparing Remora


The first step in preparing remora is to clean it thoroughly. Rinse the fish in cold water and use a knife to remove any scales. You can also use a spoon to scrape away any remaining scales.


Next, you’ll need to gut the fish. Use a sharp knife to make a cut along the belly of the fish, from the head to the tail. Be careful not to cut too deeply, as you don’t want to damage the internal organs.

Removing the Head

Once the fish is gutted, you can remove the head by cutting it off with a sharp knife. You can also remove the tail if you prefer.


With the head and tail removed, it’s time to fillet the fish. Use a sharp knife to make a cut along the backbone of the fish, from the head to the tail. Then, use a gentle sawing motion to remove the flesh from the bone. Repeat on the other side of the fish.

Cooking Remora


Grilling is one of the best ways to cook remora. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then place it on the grill. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until the fish is cooked through.


You can also bake remora in the oven. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a baking dish. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then place it in the baking dish. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.


If you prefer, you can also fry remora. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then coat it in flour or breadcrumbs. Fry the fish for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until it is golden brown and cooked through.

Remora is a delicious and healthy seafood option that is easy to prepare and cook. Whether you grill it, bake it, or fry it, it’s sure to be a hit at your next meal.

Are Remora Fish Good For You?

While they may not be the most popular fish in the market, remora fish can be a delicious and healthy addition to your diet.

Nutrition Table Chart:

The following nutrition table chart is based on a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked remora fish:

NutrientAmount Per Serving
Protein16.67 grams
Fat2.32 grams
Omega-3 fatty acids0.6 grams
Sodium55 milligrams
Potassium380 milligrams

As you can see, remora fish are low in fat and calories, making them a healthy seafood option. They are also high in protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles. In addition, remora fish are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease.

One of the key benefits of eating remora fish is that they are low in mercury. Unlike larger predatory fish such as tuna and swordfish, remora fish are low on the food chain and do not accumulate high levels of mercury. This makes remora fish a safe seafood option for pregnant women and young children.

Remora fish are also a good source of other essential nutrients such as potassium, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, and selenium, which is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, remora fish is a healthy and nutritious seafood option that can be safely consumed by humans. While not as well-known as other types of fish, remora fish is a great source of high-quality protein, low in fat, and rich in potassium. It also contains a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining heart health. Remora fish can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, or frying, and can be a delicious and flavorful addition to your diet. So, if you are looking for a healthy and unique seafood option, give remora fish a try!

Related Questions

Where can remora fish be found?

Remora fish are found in warm tropical and subtropical waters around the world, including the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

What do remora fish eat?

Remora fish feed on a variety of small marine animals, including fish, squid, and crustaceans.

How do remora fish attach themselves to other marine animals?

Remora fish have a suction disc on the top of their head that they use to attach themselves to other marine animals, such as sharks, whales, and turtles.

Do remora fish harm the animals they attach themselves to?

Remora fish do not harm the animals they attach themselves to. They simply hitch a ride and feed on the scraps of food that the larger animals leave behind.

How is remora fish prepared for cooking?

Remora fish are typically gutted and filleted before cooking. They can be grilled, baked, or fried.

Can remora fish be caught for sport?

Yes, remora fish can be caught for sport. They are typically caught using live bait or lures.

What is the average size of a remora fish?

The average size of a remora fish is around 30 to 90 cm in length, depending on the species.

How long do remora fish live?

Remora fish can live for up to 12 years in the wild.

Are there any threats to remora fish populations?

Remora fish populations are not currently considered threatened or endangered. However, they can be impacted by overfishing and habitat destruction.

What is the economic value of remora fish?

Remora fish have a low economic value and are not typically targeted by commercial fisheries.

Can you keep remora fish in aquariums?

Yes, remora fish can be kept in aquariums. However, they require a large tank with plenty of space to swim and a varied diet.

Do remora fish have any predators?

Remora fish are preyed upon by larger fish, sharks, and marine mammals.

Can remora fish be used for medicinal purposes?

Yes, remora fish have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including skin infections and respiratory issues.

What is the cultural significance of remora fish?

Remora fish have cultural significance in many parts of the world. They are often featured in traditional art and folklore.

Are there any conservation efforts to protect remora fish?

Remora fish populations are not currently considered threatened or endangered, so there are no specific conservation efforts in place for them at the moment.


  1. “Remora Fish” – National Geographic. Retrieved from
  2. “Suckerfish (Remora)” – FishWatch. Retrieved from
  3. “Remora (Sharksucker)” – Florida Museum. Retrieved from
  4. “Remora” – Britannica. Retrieved from
  5. “Remora Fish: Everything You Need to Know” – Aquascape Addiction. Retrieved from

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