Flagship species are primarily intended to promote public awareness and to raise funds for conservation. Main criteria for selecting flagship species are based on sociocultural considerations. Suggested Boka Aquarium flagship species is John Dory.
John Dory, St. Pierre or Peter's Fish, refers to fish of the genus Zeus, especially Zeus faber (Linnaeus, 1758). This is benthic coastal marine fish of widespread distribution. The body of this fish is laterally compressed, in olive-yellow color with a large dark spot on the side and long spines on the dorsal fin. The dark spot is used to flash an ‘evil eye’ if danger approaches. Its large eyes at the front of the head
provide it with binocular vision and depth perception, which are important for predators. The John Dory’s eye spot on the side of its body also confuses prey, which are scooped up in its big mouth.
The origin of the name is variously explained. It may be an arbitrary or jocular variation of dory (from French dorée, gilded), or an allusion to John Dory, the hero of an old ballad. Others suggest that “John” derives from the French jaune, yellow. The novel An Antarctic Mystery by Jules Verne gives another version: “The legendary etymology of this piscatorial designation is Janitore, the ‘door-keeper’, in allusion to St. Peter, who brought a fish said to be of that species, to Jesus at his command”. Other known names for the John Dory are the “St. Pierre”, or “Peter’s Fish”, Saint Peter being the patron saint of fishermen. A related legend says that the dark spot on
the fish's flank is St. Peter’s thumbprint.
John Dory is an edible marine fish, well known and highly valued on fish markets in Montenegro.