Paua

Maori name: pāua
Scientific name: Haliotis iris
Availability: Year round
Weight:
Length: 12.5–18cm (12.5cm legal minimum shell size for harvest)

 

Paua

Maori name: pāua
Scientific name: Haliotis iris
Availability: Year round
Length: 12.5–18cm (12.5cm legal minimum shell size for harvest)
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General

 

Location

They are widespread around the New Zealand coast. Found from the intertidal zone down to approximately 15 metres.

Attributes

Single shell with a pale grey to brown outer surface. The inside

shell shows brilliant iridescent colours. The shell is oval shaped

with faint ridges and a curved row of holes. The flesh has a black

covering and is darker than many other species of abalone. Paua are exploited for their meat, their shells, and more recently for their ability to produce lustrous pearls that capture the colours in the shell.

Family

Paua belong to the Haliotidae family (abalones).

 

Related species:

 

Related species include Yellow-foot paua (H. australis) and Virgin

paua (H. virginea). H. australis is widespread around New Zealand in small numbers. It has a pale yellow-brown shell. The foot is pale yellow with a black rim. H. virginea is similar to H. iris but the foot is white. Four subspecies are found between North Cape and the Sub-Antarctic Islands.

Spawning

They spawn in the late summer and autumn, moving into deeper water as they mature. They are relatively slow-growing and long-lived (up to 50 years).

Sustainability

The commercial fishery for paua dates from the mid-1940s. In the early years of this commercial fishery the meat was generally discarded and only the shell was marketed. However, by the late 1950s both meat and shell were being sold. Most of the current commercial catch is from the Wairarapa coast southwards with the major fishing areas located in the South Island, Marlborough, Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands. In most areas paua can only be harvested by free diving. In addition to catch limits, there are limits on the size of paua that can be harvested. In many areas these have been voluntarily increased by commercial fishers to improve the fishery. Paua abundance is assessed by MPI as being stable in some areas, while in other areas catch limits have been reduced when required and abundance is increasing.

Fishing methods

They are harvested year-round, mainly from the Kaikoura and Southland coasts, Stewart Island, and the Chatham Islands. Only Paua over the minimum size limit may be taken by divers who are restricted to using snorkelling equipment.

Nutrition

Paua 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 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

, 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

, 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 Copper

Copper is necessary for nomal energy production and normal immune system function and it contributes to the transport and metabolism of iron

; 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 Phosphorus

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

, Magnesium

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

, Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is contributes to the transport and metabolism of iron, to the release of energy from food and to the maintenance of normal vision

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

The secret to tender paua is to gently ease it out of the shell and cook quickly on a high heat with a light, gentle touch. If overcooked, the texture of paua can become rubbery. The colour will change and edges will begin to curl when the paua is cooked. Paua can be tenderised by a variety of methods. Light pounding with a metal hammer or par-boiling for a few minutes in steaming (but not boiling) water are popular options. Grill, stir fry, saute, bake, poach in a seafood broth,barbeque or use in a Kiwi classic: paua fritters.

Buying & Storage Tips

While many New Zealanders harvest their own paua, it is available for sale, usually as chilled shucked paua meat (at a fresh seafood bar) or frozen shucked paua meat. It is best consumed as soon as possible after purchase.