Tarakihi

Maori name:
Scientific name: Nemadactylus macropterus
Availability: Year round
Weight: 0.9–2.5kg, up to 6kg
Length: 30–40cm

 

Tarakihi

Scientific name: Nemadactylus macropterus
Availability: Year round
Weight: 0.9–2.5kg, up to 6kg
Length: 30–40cm
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General

 

Location

They are most abundant south of East Cape, around Cook Strait, and on the east and west coasts of the South Island.They are pelagic as post larvae, bottom dwelling around reefs as juveniles, and school over the open bottom as adults at depths of 100 to 250 metres. In winter, they are found at depths of 50 to 100 metres.

Attributes

Usually silver-grey with a blue-green sheen, shading to silver and white on the belly. There is a distinctive black band between the head and the dorsal fin. The head and mouth are small, and the laterally compressed body tapers to a forked tail. The scales are moderate and firm.

Family

Tarakihi belong to the Cheilodactylidae family (terakihi, morwongs) and are common around New Zealand.

Spawning

Spawning takes place in late summer and autumn. The young fish reach 25 centimetres in three or four years, and then grow slowly as adult fish. Many are 10 to 20 years old, and some even reach 50 years of age.

Sustainability

Tarakihi have been fished commercially in New Zealand for more than 100 years. Commercial catch levels have been fairly stable at 3,500 to 6,500 tonnes annually since 1945, with some short-term fluctuations and regional variations. Tarakihi abundance is regularly monitored using commercial catch rate and trawl survey information.

Fishing methods

Tarakihi are regarded highly by both commercial and recreational fishermen. For many years, they were New Zealand's second most important commercial catch. They are caught around New Zealand throughout the year with catches increasing February to June, mainly by trawling.

Nutrition

Tarakihi 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 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 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

, 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 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

.

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

Tarakihi has medium to firm white moist flesh, suitable for most cooking methods. It can be used in a delicate or strongly flavoured dish.
Bake; bbq; curry; fry; poach; marinate; soup/chowder; sushi/raw.

Buying & Storage Tips

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

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