Can you eat remora fish?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “can you eat remora fish?” and discuss whether it has any implications on health.

Yes, you can eat remora fish. There is no harm in eating it. The size of this fish is very small, so it might not offer much meat and the taste is not that great either. People mostly use it as bait rather than eating it.

However, if you plan on eating one, you can without any consequences. Give it a little seasoning and it’s good to go. The recommended method of cooking is to filet it and fry it in a pan.

What is a remora fish?

The remora, also known as suckerfish, is a fish from the family Echeneidae. They are distinct from others in a way that their front lips are evolved into suction cups like organs, through which they can attach themselves to larger marine animals, usually a shark.

They commonly attach to sharks, manta rays, whales, turtles, hence the common names “sharksucker” and “whalesucker”. 

They get protection from predators by latching onto bigger fish and in return clear the surroundings and waste materials of the host fish.

Remoras sometimes attach to boats and divers too. This lets them roam around freely but they can also swim by themselves.

In Latin remora means “to hold”. In Greek mythology, the remora is believed to stop a ship by attaching to it and delaying it.  

How to use remora fish as bait?

Remoras are used as bait to catch turtles. Remora’s tail is fastened with a rope and when a turtle is seen, they are released; it usually heads directly for the turtle and attaches itself to the turtle’s shell, and then both are pulled back in.

This method is efficient against smaller turtles, while larger ones can only be hauled at shorter distances. This is a common practice in the Indian ocean.

How to catch a remora fish?

Catching remora fish is a bit difficult because remora fish do not travel in schools. Instead, they attach themselves to a host fish. So, mostly they are caught by catching their host fish.

Due to difficulty in fishing them and the minimum amount of meat they yield, anglers are reluctant in pursuing remora.

How do you clean a remora fish?

The remora is relatively easy to clean because it is rather quite a small fish. The best method to clean it is by removing the lateral line of bone structure.

The meat of remora resembles triggerfish, but you can only make filets of remora’s that are bigger in size.

What are the features of remora fish?

Probably the most striking feature of remora fish is the suction cup at the top of its head. Some other interesting features of this fish are:

  • It is mostly brown or black in color
  • The length of remora fish varies, with an average size of 18 inches and a few larger ones measuring up to 2 feet in length.
  • An adult remora has a weight of around 2 lbs.
  • The body of the remora is long and has numerous scales on it but its body is smooth with a long and flathead.
  • Their food mostly comprises the fecal matter of their host or the leftover bits of food. They can also eat tiny parasites that reside in their host’s body.
  • Remoras can attach themselves to anything that is bog and moving, thus they are a concern for the divers too. They tend to attach themselves to the diver’s body or oxygen tank, but if they attach to the body directly, they can scrape the skin.
  • Attaching to a larger marine animal for movement is important for remora; if it doesn’t do this, it can perish. Thus, always on the look for a host.
  • Mahi Mahi, cobia, jack, etc., are related genetically to remora. The closest resemblance to remora is a cobia, but they lack the suction cup on their head. The only similarity is that cobia also swim alongside a marine host and rely on food sources on them.
  • Remora does not look for a specific host and gets along with any host and goes wherever they take them.
  • There is no information about how they reproduce. A study found that adult pairs attach to the same host, but there is not much knowledge about how they breed. However, it is believed that they reproduce by spawning.
  • One of the unique things about remora is they are used for catching turtles. By attaching a rope to its tail and releasing it in the river, small turtles can be caught when remora attaches itself to them. The remora can be pulled back with the turtle.

Other FAQs about Fish that you may be interested in.

Can you eat sailfish?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you eat remora?” and discussed facts about remora and its various features.


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