Red cod

Maori name: hoka
Scientific name: Pseudophycis bachus, P. barbata, P. breviuscula
Availability: July to January
Weight: 0.8–1.3kg, up to 2.0kg
Length: 40–70cm

Red cod

Maori name: hoka
Scientific name: Pseudophycis bachus, P. barbata, P. breviuscula
Availability: July to January
Weight: 0.8–1.3kg, up to 2.0kg
Length: 40–70cm
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Location

They are found throughout New Zealand seas, more commonly in southern waters at depths of 100 to 300 metres, occasionally as deep as 700 metres. Usually found in schools, they migrate from the outer continental shelf to shallow coastal grounds.

Attributes

Red-brown above, becoming pink on the sides and belly. The dorsal and anal fins are pink with black margins, and there is a black spot at the pectoral fin base. The vivid colour fades to a greyish pink when first captured. The scales are soft and easily removed, and the skin is slimy. The square-tipped tail and black pectoral spot distinguishes them from their close relatives.

Family

Red cod are members of the Moridae family (morid cods).

 

Related species:

 

Southern bastard cod (P. barbata) and Northern bastard cod (P. breviuscula).

Spawning

Spawning occurs in August, probably in offshore waters. Red cod are fast-growing but short-lived (few older than six years).

Sustainability

Red cod are caught primarily around the South Island. Natural variations in the number of young fish produced each year have resulted in significant variations in stock abundance and, as a result, management under the Quota Management System allows for rapid changes in catch limits. Stock abundance is monitored via commercial catch rates, with trawl survey abundance indices showing consistent changes.

Fishing methods

The catch is seasonal, from November to May/June, peaking in January and May. In spring and summer, Red cod are caught inshore before they move to deeper waters in winter. They are caught mainly in the Canterbury Bight and off Westland by trawling.

Nutrition

Red cod 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

, 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

Red cod flesh is delicate with fillets that flake easily when cooked; it is often smoked but can also be fried, baked or poached.

Buying & Storage Tips

When buying whole red cod, 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 red cod fillets, always check the...
FLESH: semi-transparent and glossy

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