Triggerfish have a compressed oval body with rough skin and are found off the U.S. Southeast Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. They tend to inhabit depths of 60-120 feet along the shore and around reefs. Triggerfish get their name from the locking and unlocking action of their dorsal spines. The first spine is locked in place by erecting the short second spine and can be unlocked by deprsssing the short second spine like a "trigger." This locking behavior prevents predators from swallowing them or pulling them out of their hiding spots. Triggerfish use their tough teeth and jaws to eat urchins and other small bottom dwelling and reef hard-shelled invertebrates. Their small eyes can be rotated independently which aids in finding food.
Triggerfish were once ignored by fishermen, but now they are considered among the finest of fish. They have a clean white meat with a unique sweet flavor, closer to crab than fish. The fillets are light and thin and can be cooked a variety of ways.