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The Tarpon Fish, Locally Called Cuffum

The tarpon fish is locally called “cuffum” in Guyana, South America where it is prepared in a wide variety of dishes including fried, curry, and stew.

The tarpon may be described as a “euryhaline species” because it can survive in a wide variety of salinity and therefore lives in both the ocean and in fresh waters. The tarpon breeds mostly in the oceans in salt water. The females can lay up to 12 million eggs at once. They spawn their eggs between the months of March and July. Tarpons tend to swim upriver from the ocean and often inhabit rivers, creeks, tidal pools, and salt marshes. Some return to the ocean but others stay in freshwater locations.

Adult tarpons are carnivores and nocturnal hunters. They hunt prey in midwater in the night swallowing them whole.

The tarpon grows to between 2 to 8 feet and weights between 60 to 280 pounds.

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