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Female Sarotherodon galilaeus galilaeus

Sarotherodon or St. Peter's fish is a species of fish local to the Lake of Gennesaret [1] (also known as Sea of Galilee). An account in the New Testament speaks about the Apostle Peter catching a fish that carried a shekel coin in its mouth (Matthew 17:24−27), however, no species of fish is named in that passage of the Bible.

While this name is also applied to Zeus faber, a marine fish not found in the area, one Tilapia (Sarotherodon galilaeus galilaeus) is known to be found in Sea of Galilee where the account took place. This particular species is known to have been the target of small-scale artisanal fisheries in the area for thousands of years. It has depicted on its head (on the bones) and below its skin the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River.citation needed


  1. The Lake of Gennesaret is a large lake-like body of water that runs six miles wide and twelve miles long. It is fed by springs from three countries: Lebanon, Israel, and Syria, and today it provides nearly one-fourth of Israel's fresh-water supply. The Israelis now refer to the Sea of Galilee as Yam Kinneret, however, the Gospel of John calls it the Sea of Tiberias, while the Gospel of Luke speaks of Lake Gennesaret)

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