This fish was a familiar friend at the reef off Shelly Beach at Fairy Bower in Manly. Interesting reproductive strategy. There are around 8 smaller (female) fish – about 750mm-1m long, maybe 8-10kg in the group, and always one huge bright blue (male) – 1.5m, 15kg+. If the big one dies, the others go through a poorly-understood process of appointing a new male. Violence, hormones, age and guile are thought to be factors. Eventually, one of the females starts growing and transforms into a male.
In the absence of spear-fishers and high-speed propellers, they commonly reach 70 years.