Dolphin, Barbados Pocket GuideDolphins

This surface-dwelling ray-finned fish (Coryphaena hippurus) when in water, is brilliantly colored with blue, green, silver and yellow. Once caught, these colours quickly fade.


Dolphins occur in two distinct forms with males having a large, bony crest on  the forehead and a high snout while females don't. This characteristic trait distinguishes them apart. They are one of only two members of the Coryphaenidae family.


This important fisheries species is usually caught off-shore Barbados via line and hook with flying fish acting as the prime source of bait. Dolphins possess a fierce fighting potential once hooked.

Life Cycle

This phenomenal life cycle is extremely fast progressing. Dolphins reach maturity in a short space of time but in most instances, only live for one or two years. This rapid growth rate is accelerated by consumption of predominantly flying fish, mackerels, jacks, leatherjackets, and occasionally other dolphin.


The spawning process for dolphins is not uncommon during their first year of growth and as such, they are more than capable of reproducing several times during a single spawning season. Due in part to this bizarre growth rate and relatively high turnover among this species, the possibility exists that they are in a position that aligns them with being less vulnerable than other fish that may take a longer time to reach maturity.


From December to June, dolphins can be found migrating northerly through the island chains.


In Barbados, dolphin is yet another favorite fish here on the island. Though dolphin is ideal for a variety of preparations, Barbadians are most satisfied when this delicately flavored fish is prepared via steaming or frying.


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