Southern blue whiting

Maori name:
Scientific name: Micromesistius australis
Availability: August to October
Weight: 0.4-0.6kg
Length: 40-50cm, reaching 55cm

Southern blue whiting

Scientific name: Micromesistius australis
Availability: August to October
Weight: 0.4-0.6kg
Length: 40-50cm, reaching 55cm
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Location

Southern Blue Whiting are found in the cool sub-Antarctic water of the Campbell, Pukaki and Bounty Rises. They school near the seabed at depths of 450 and 650 metres. They also spend time in mid-water at night and during the early spring spawning season. The species is also found off the coast of South America.

Attributes

Grey with a blue tinge, darker on the dorsal ridge with many small, black spots and shades to silver-white on the belly. Southern Blue Whiting have three dorsal and two anal fins that distinguish the species from small hake. They have a slender but moderately rounded body, large eyes and mouth, and loose scales that are easily dislodged.

Family

Southern Blue Whiting are members of the Gadidae family (true cods).

Sustainability

Southern blue whiting are almost entirely restricted in distribution to sub-Antarctic waters. They are dispersed throughout the Campbell Island Rise and Bounty Platform for much of the year. For stock assessment purposes, it is assumed that there are four stocks, based on the main spawning areas: Campbell Island Rise, Bounty Platform, Pukaki Rise, and the Auckland Islands. The commercial fisheries focus on the spawning period and the Auckland Islands stock, and to a lesser extent the Pukaki Rise stock, are often largely unfished.  Acoustic surveys are used to monitor abundance in the main Campbell Island Rise and Bounty Platform stocks.  Recruitment of southern blue whiting can vary significantly from year to year with a single, strong, year class (fish of the same age) often dominating catches for several years.  In the Bounty Platform stock, a strong 2002 year class caused a sharp increase in abundance; this has subsequently declined but the stock is still assessed to be about the target biomass level.  The Campbell Island Rise stock has seen strong year classes in 2006, 2007 and potentially 2009 and biomass is expected to increase in the next few years as these year classes grow and dominate the fishery.  

The fishery was certified against the Marine Stewardship Council standard in 2012.

Nutrition

Southern blue whiting 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

, 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 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

.

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

Delicate, moist and easily flaked fish characterises southern blue whiting. It has a low oil content and firmer flesh than the blue whiting from the northern hemisphere.

Buying & Storage Tips

When buying whole southern blue whiting, 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 southern blue whiting fillets, always check the...
FLESH: semi-transparent and glossy
If the fish looks sticky or mushy then it is not fresh.