Maori Name: Mārari/Māriri
Latin Name: Odax pullus
Weight: 1–1.5kg, up to 2.5kg
Length: 30–50cm, reaching 70cmFamily:
Butterfish are also called greenbone because their bones have a greenish tinge. Butterfish belong to the Odacidae family (butterfishes). Butterfish are not related to the warehou species of the Centrolophidae family, which are also called butterfish in Japan and other countries.
Butterfish are found only around the New Zealand coast, and are widespread, feeding on kelp beds over shallow rocky outcrops. They are rarely found at depths greater than 15 metres.
Butterfish are more abundant south of East Cape, especially around Cook Strait.
Sustainability of this New Zealand fish stock is ensured through the world-leading Fisheries Act and Quota Management System (QMS). The QMS guides the sustainable use of New Zealand fisheries. Find out what the QMS is and how it works.
Butterfish are caught commercially year-round in set nets.
Butterfish are prized for their very clean, delicate flavour, translucent flesh and ability to flake well. This fish is also wonderfully tender and moist when cooked, hence the 'butteriness' they are attributed with.
Butterfish start life and mature as females, with brown to green colouring. As they grow older, they turn into males and become dark blue-black.
Butterfish is a good source of Vitamin B12; and a source of Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium and Niacin (vitamin B3).
Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3.