Ghost shark

Maori name:
Scientific name: Hydrolagus novaezelandiae (dark), H. bemis (pale)
Availability: Year round
Weight: 0.6–1.5kg
Length: 50–80cm (excluding the tail filament)

Ghost shark

Scientific name: Hydrolagus novaezelandiae (dark), H. bemis (pale)
Availability: Year round
Weight: 0.6–1.5kg
Length: 50–80cm (excluding the tail filament)
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Location

Dark ghostsharks are most abundant in waters 150 to 500 metres deep off the west coast of the South Island and on the Chatham Rise.

Attributes

Brown body above with a pattern of pale stripes and spots, the colouring paling to silver on the belly. The head is blunt and rounded, the eyes large, and there is a long tapering tail. The first dorsal fin is preceded by a strong spine, and the pectoral fins are very large.

 

Pale ghostsharks are paler brown than H. novaezelandiae and white below, with soft skin that damages easily. The species is distinguished from H. novaezelandiae by the lack of dark mottling on the skin and dorsal fin.

Family

Dark ghostshark belongs to the Chimaeridae family (chimaeras, ghostsharks) and is restricted to New Zealand, but there are similar species elsewhere. It is sometimes sold as Pearl fish.

Sustainability

Pale and dark ghost sharks were introduced in the Quota Management System in 1998/99 as separate fisheries. Ghost shark are primarily taken as a bycatch in other target trawl fisheries, and historically were reported as a species group.  The two species have different depth ranges. The stocks are monitored using commercial catch rate data and trawl survey indices, which have generally been stable over recent decades other than dark ghost sharks around the South Island where abundance has shown an increasing trend.

Fishing methods

The species is caught throughout the year off the central and southern continental shelf by trawling and deepwater longlining. Much of the landing is a by-catch from the hoki fishery.

Nutrition

Ghost shark 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 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

; 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

, Magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function and for teeth and bone structure and it contributes to normal energy metabolism

, 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

and 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

.

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

Ghost shark has white, firm-textured and boneless fillets.Try it in a curry; poached; steamed; baked; barbequed; in a casserole; or fried.

Buying & Storage Tips

Ghost shark is sometimes sold as 'pearl fish'. When buying ghost shark fillets, always check the...
EYES: Bright and clear cornea, shiny black pupil
GILLS: Rosy pink pastel coloured gills
SKIN: Bright, with a luminous sheen
FLESH: semi-transparent and glossy

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