Māori Name: araara
Name Scientific: Pseudocaranx dentex
Availability: Year round
Attributes Weight: 0.4–20kg, up to 5kg
Attributes Length: 30–60cm, reaching 70cm
They are both pelagic and demersal in behaviour. Juveniles are found in shallow inshore areas, and from around one year old, the growing fish enter the demersal phase. As adults, they move from the demersal to the pelagic and school at all levels. They grow rapidly, reaching maturity after about five years and can live to 45 years. They feed on krill and other plankton in closely packed surface schools.
Blue-green on the top and silvery white on the belly, with a yellowish sheen running along the length of the fish. A small dark blotch often appears on the upper gill cover. The body is deep and laterally compressed with a bluntly rounded head and sickleshaped pectoral fin. Large fish often develop a hump on the head caused by the enlargement of the bony skull crest. The species has small scales and a row of strong scutes at the tail base. Juveniles often have vertical bands of green and gold, which are sometimes also visible on freshly-caught adults.
Trevally belong to the Carangidae family (trevallies, kingfishes).
Trevally has been caught commercially in New Zealand since at least the early 1900s and is managed under the Quota Management System (QMS). Commercial catch records are available as far back as 1931. Stocks declined off the west coast of the North Island in the 1960s and 1970s, but spawning biomass appears to have remained fairly stable since the 1980s.
The species is common around many parts of the North Island and the top half of the South Island. They are most abundant at depths of about 80 metres and are caught throughout the year.
Did You Know
Seagrass offers shelter to juvenile fish, but it has disappeared from many places. Scientists experimenting with artificial seagrass mats in the Coromandel found lots of Trevally youngsters, among others, taking advantage of their 'designer homes'.
Trevally has medium to soft fillets with a low oil content. It can be baked; curried; marinated; steamed; poached; smoked; or fried.
When buying whole trevally, 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 trevally fillets, always check the... FLESH: semi-transparent and glossy If the fish looks sticky or mushy then it is not fresh.