Managed by: SAFMC
Scup are deep-bodied and have very spiny fins. The front teeth are incisor-form and are very narrow, almost conical. There are two rows of molars in the upper jaw. Longspine porgy are similar, but may be readily identified by their elongated dorsal spines. Scup are dusky brown with somewhat bright silverly reflections below. The fins are mottled with dark brown in the adults and the young may be faintly barred.
Scup inhabit the nearshore region of the continental shelf from Nove Scotia to South Carolina, and prefer hard bottom habitats, such as rock outcroppings and wrecks in warmer waters of 45° F or wamer. Spawning takes place from May to August in northern portions of the range. Sexual maturity is attained when fish are 2 years old and about 8 inches long. The eggs and larvae are pelagic and are carried by currents and winds before settling to the bottom. Scup may live to be 15 years old, reaching a length of 18 inches and a weight of 3 pounds. Scup are browsers; they nibble on invertibrates that live on the ocean bottom. They are able to grasp foods with their incisors, and then crush even hard-shelled animals with the strong molars.
South Atlantic Federal Regulations
(For areas three-200 miles off the coasts of NC, SC, GA, and East Florida)
Note: Effective September 8, 2012 the commercial fishery for the Deepwater Complex (yellowedge grouper, blueline tilefish, silk snapper, misty grouper, queen snapper, sand tilefish, black snapper, and blackfin snapper) is closed. Commercial harvest of gray triggerfish also closes on that date. Effective September 11, 2012, the commercial fishery for the Porgy Complex (jolthead, knobbed, saucereye, whitebone and scup) and for yellowtail snapper is closed. See the Fishery Bulletin for additional details.
Limited access permit required.