Yellowfin Bream

Acanthopagrus australis

Other names: Black bream, sea bream, silver bream, surf bream.

Family: Sparidae (breams).


Available wild-caught, it is a coastal-dwelling marine fish, also found in estuaries and inshore reefs to depths of about 35m. Found along the eastern coast of Australia from Victoria to far north Queensland and caught mainly along the south-eastern coast from southern Queensland to Victoria by seine nets, gillnets and traps in estuaries and off beaches. It is endemic to Australia.

Season: Available year round with peaks in NSW from February to June and Queensland from May to July.

Size and Weight: Commonly 200g-1.2kg and 25-35cm, but can grow to 4kg and 55cm.

Price: Medium priced.


Black Bream, Frypan Bream, Pikey Bream, Tarwhine and Snapper (Pagrus auratus, not Goldband Snapper). Often confused with Black Bream, which has greyish-brown anal and pelvic fins instead of yellowish-white, and a darker body. Yellow Bream’s colour varies with habitat, with fish from estuaries darker than those from the sea. Western Yellowfin Bream (Acanthopagrus latus) is caught in small numbers off WA.

To Buy:

Sold mainly whole (gilled and gutted) and occasionally in fillet form (usually skinned). In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for pale pinkish, firm, lustrous, moist flesh with some dark veins and without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly as soon as possible (completely remove the lining of the abdominal cavity and the white fat along the abdominal wall). Wrap whole fish and fillets in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 35%. Has a mild, sweet flavour, low oiliness and moist, soft-medium flesh.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue. A good plate-sized fish cooked whole, flesh also works well in mousseline.

Goes well with:

Capers, chilli, coriander, garlic, ginger, lemon, lemongrass, lime, parsley, soy sauce.


Emperors, Morwong, Seaperches.


None. Frozen imported fillets of other species are sometimes sold as ‘seabream’, although there is also an Australian fish called Seabream, which is actually a member of the Emperor family.


Yellowfin Bream with Vietnamese Salad >
Steamed Whole Bream with Green Chilli & Coriander >
Almond-Crusted Tarwhine Fillets with Roasted Potatoes & Saffron Garlic Mayonnaise >