Black oreo

Maori name:
Scientific name: Allocyttus niger,
Availability: Year round
Weight: 0.5–1kg, up to 2kg
Length: 30–40cm

Black oreo

Scientific name: Allocyttus niger,
Availability: Year round
Weight: 0.5–1kg, up to 2kg
Length: 30–40cm
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Location

Black oreo are found only in the Southern Hemisphere. They are a deepwater species, living at depths between 600 and 1200 metres. In New Zealand Black oreo are found along the south of the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of the South Island, and on the Campbell Plateau. They form schools near pinnacles and feed on crustaceans, fish, and squid.

Attributes

They have a very dark brown body with blackish fins and small, firm scales that cannot be dislodged. The body is wide and angular and is dominated by a very large, green eye.

Family

Black oreo belong to the Oreosomatidae family (oreos). They are not members of the Zeidae family (true dories) despite their market name.

 

Spiky oreo (Neocyttus rhomboidalis) is a related species. They are paler than Black oreo and have greyish fins. They are smaller in size (around 35 centimetres) and are found in flatter, shallower grounds than Black oreo. Spiky oreo are not as common as Black oreo, and are not a preferred commercial catch.

Spawning

Spawning occurs from late October to December, particularly on the south Chatham Rise. They are thought to be slow growing and to live to at least 100 years.

Sustainability

Commercial fisheries occur for black and smooth oreo. The Chatham Rise is the main fishing area; other fisheries occur off Southland on the east coast of the South Island and on the Pukaki Rise, Macquarie Ridge and Bounty Plateau. On the western Chatham Rise, catch rates of black oreos decreased in the 80s and 90s but have been stable since the early 2000s; an assessment of smooth oreos in this area indicated an increase in abundance since the turn of the century with the stock level around the target.  For the western Chatham Rise black oreo CPUE (catch per unit effort) has also recently stabilised while smooth oreo abundance has steadily decreased but is currently assessed as being at target levels.

Nutrition

Black oreo is a good source

To quality for a 'good source' claim the food must contain at least 25% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Selenium

Selenium is necessary for normal immune system function and for the production of thyroid hormones and it contributes to the maintenance of hair and nails

; and a source

To quality for a 'source' claim the food must contain at least 10% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Iodine

Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, for normal neurological function and for normal energy metabolism, and it contributes to the growth and development in children

, Phosphorus

Phosphorus is necessary for normal teeth, bone and cell membrane structure and for energy metabolism

, Potassium

Potassium is necessary for water and electrolyte balance, it contributes to the functioning of the nervous system and normal muscle function; and to the normal growth and development of children

, Niacin (vitamin B3)

Niacin (vitamin B3) is necessary for the release of energy from food and for the normal structure and function of skin and mucous membranes, and contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

and Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for normal neurological function and it contributes to blood formation, energy metabolism and to the growth and development in children

.

Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein

Protein is necessary for tissue building and repair, normal growth and development of bone in children and adolescents aged 4 years and over, and contributes to growth and maintenance of muscle mass

. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3

Omega 3 is a group of fatty acids that contribute to heart health

.

Tips

Black oreo has firm and white small fillets that do not flake easily and hold together on cooking. It can be baked; fried; marinated; poached; or made into sushi/eaten raw.

Buying & Storage Tips

Oreos are available, whole and fillets in, fresh and frozen. When buying whole oreo dory, always check the...
EYES: Bright and clear cornea, shiny black pupil
GILLS: Rosy pink pastel coloured gills
SKIN: Bright, with a luminous sheen

When buying oreo dory fillets, always check the...
FLESH: semi-transparent and glossy

If the fish looks sticky or mushy then it is not fresh.