Orange roughy

Maori name:
Scientific name: Hoplostethus atlanticus
Availability: Year round but mainly from May to August
Weight: 0.8–1.6kg, up to 3.5kg
Length: 30–40cm

Orange roughy

Scientific name: Hoplostethus atlanticus
Availability: Year round but mainly from May to August
Weight: 0.8–1.6kg, up to 3.5kg
Length: 30–40cm
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Location

They are widespread in the deep water of most temperate oceans round the world. In New Zealand, they are found at depths of 750 to 1200 metres on the Chatham Rise, off the continental shelf from Gisborne to Kaikoura, off south Westland, and on parts of the Challenger Plateau off the West Coast.

Attributes

Reddish body that fades to a distinctive orange after capture with a bluish tinge in the belly area. The species has a deep body with conspicuous bony ridges and massive head. The lateral line scales are larger than the small and irregular body scales.

Family

Orange roughy are slow-growing, long-lived fish belonging to the Trachichthyidae family (roughies). There is strong evidence that Orange roughy may live as long as 130 years.

 

Related species:

 

There are three related non-commercial species found in New Zealand. These are Silver roughy (H. mediterraneus), Common roughy (Paratrachichtys trailli), and Slender roughy (Optivus elongatus).

Spawning

Spawning occurs in dense aggregations between June and early August, in several areas from Bay of Plenty to the Auckland Islands.

Sustainability

New Zealand’s key orange roughy fisheries are  Marine Stewardship Council certified - the global gold standard for sustainable fishing.

Orange roughy fishing began in New Zealand on the Chatham Rise in the late 1970s. Fisheries in other parts of the EEZ started in the 1980s and early 1990s. Catches peaked in the late 1980s. Since then catch limits and catches have been deliberately decreased, as management has responded to new science, the biomass of the various stocks has been fished down to target levels and our understanding of orange roughy productivity has improved. The annual catch limits for orange roughy under the QMS have been significantly decreased from the limits set for the developing fisheries in the 1980s. Annual harvest strategies are currently based on taking 4.5% (or less) of the adult numbers to ensure healthy and sustainable populations, leaving 21 out of 22 fish each year for the future. When stocks fall below the management target, catch limits are reduced - at times to zero - to provide for stocks to increase in size. Several stocks have been rebuilt in size and catch limits are being increased as they do so. Multiple strategies have been implemented to manage the orange roughy fisheries, ranging from biomass studies, the introduction of new multi-frequency Acoustic Optical Systems and harvest strategy standards, to risk assessment models.

Fishing methods

They are caught year-round by trawling. Fish are deep-skinned to remove a layer of inedible, oily wax under the skin.

Nutrition

Orange roughy 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

, Vitamin A

Vitamin A is necessary for normal vision and the structure and function of skin and mucous membranes

and Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for normal bone structure and the utilisation of calcium and phosphorus and it contributes to the maintenance of normal teeth

; 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

, Iron

Iron is necessary for the transport oxygen, for normal immune system function and for normal neurological development in the foetus, and it contributes to energy production and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

, 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 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

A mild flavour and soft, moist white flesh makes orange roughy a popular choice. Moderate oil content keeps orange roughy succulent and it holds together well in most cooking methods. Use skinned fillets only. Bake, sauté, poach, steam, bbq, casserole or smoke orange roughy; or use in a soup/chowder.

Buying & Storage Tips

Orange roughy are deep-skinned to remove a layer of oily wax under the skin. Always fillet and skin whole orange roughy before cooking. Do not cook skin-on orange roughy, whether whole or filleted.

Orange roughy is more likely to be available as skinless fillets. However, if buying whole orange roughy, always check the...
EYES: Bright and clear cornea, shiny black pupil
GILLS: Rosy coloured gills

When buying orange roughy fillets, always check the...
FLESH: white, semi-transparent and glossy

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