Animal Species:Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus australis (Owen, 1853)

The Yellowfin Bream is popular angling fish that is common in New South Wales coastal waters.

Standard Common Name

Yellowfin Bream


The Yellowfin Bream is a member of the family Sparidae. Sparid fishes have moderate-sized scales and strong spines in the first dorsal, anal and pelvic fins.

They have canine teeth at the front of the jaws followed by conical or flattened molar-like teeth at the back of the jaw.

Coastal fish are silver, but those living in estuaries are darker.

Size range

The Yellowfin Bream grows to 65 cm in length and about 4 kg in weight.

Similar Species

The southern limit of its distributional range overlaps with the northern range of the Black Bream, Acanthopagrus butcheri. The two species look similar but can be distinguished by their colouration. The ventral and anal fins of the Yellowfin Bream are yellow, but those of the Black Bream are brown to dusky. The body colour of the Black Bream tends to be darker.


The species occurs throughout the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is found along the east coast from northern Queensland to eastern Victoria. There are some old museum records of this species being caught in Western Australian waters, but its occurrence on the west coast is yet to be confirmed.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Acanthopagrus australis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Yellowfin Bream specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


The species occurs in coastal and estuarine waters.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The Yellowfin Bream is a schooling species.

Economic/social impacts

The Yellowfin Bream is a very important commercial and recreational angling species. Other sparids that are also favoured by anglers include the Snapper and the Tarwhine.



What does this mean?


  1. Carpenter, K.E. 2001. Sparidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 5. Bony fishes part 3 (Menidae to Pomacentridae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-iv, 2791-3379.
  2. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus australis, Sparidae, canine teeth, 30 cm - 1 m, 4 kg, Indo-West Pacific, schooling species,