It is found in around the Indian Ocean and adjoining seas. It is a popular game fish, growing up to 45 kg (100 lb), and is a strong fighter that has on occasion been seen to leap out of the water when hooked.

It is popular among the countries of the Indian subcontinent including Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Seer fish is a delicacy in several regions of India. In Maharashtra and Goa they are called Surmai. In Tulunad they are called Anjal. In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, this fish is called "Vanjaram" in Tamil/Telugu as well as "Shermai" among Dakhni people and is usually the costliest variety available. They can be fried, grilled and made as curry. In addition to being cooked and eaten when fresh, it is also used to make fish pickle, usually eaten as a condiment with rice.