Sea Mullet

Latin name: Mugil cephalus

Common name: Mullet

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Wild Caught


Key Facts

  • Stocks of sea mullet in WA are considered healthy.
  • The nets used to catch sea mullet generally have a low impact on habitat.
  • Fishery impacts on threatened species appear minimal, although there has been little independent observer coverage in recent years.
  • Fishers are generally present at the nets during fishing, which means any endangered wildlife caught can be released alive.

Cooking & Recipes


Mullets have juicy, slightly oily flesh with a medium to strong flavour. For the best results, the fish should be very fresh and well handled, showing clear eyes, firm flesh, bright red gills and no fishy smell. Mullet goes incredibly well cooked on the BBQ or hot smoked, the slight oiliness ensures the fish remains moist. Smoky flavours compliment it well. Accompany mullet with Mediterranean flavours such as tomato, olive and basil. Whole mullet can also be roast in a hot oven with similar flavours – the moist flesh will flake from the bones with ease.

More information

  • WA West Coast Nearshore and Estuarine Finfish Resource (WCNEFR), which includes five sub-fisheries (199t in 2021)

Sea mullet are found throughout the coastal waters of tropical, subtropical and temperate zones of all seas. They are found around sandy, sea grass, and mangrove habitats. They are caught in commercial fisheries in QLD, NSW and WA.

In the WA sea mullet fishery, the indicators these fisheries use to monitor stocks of sea mullet suggest that stocks are healthy; recent catches are similar to levels recorded in long-term fishery catch records.

Fishing for sea mullet generally takes place in estuaries and in nearshore locations using various types of nets, all of which have a low impact on habitats. As fishers are present at the nets during fishing, any endangered wildlife caught can be released alive. It is also likely that the fisheries have a low catch of threatened and protected species based on previous independent observer records of bycatch.  Minimal interactions with endangered wildlife have been reported in WA and high interactions are unlikely, although this information requires verification with independent observer coverage.