Maori Name: Hoka
Latin Name: Pseudophycis bachus, P. barbata, P. breviuscula
Weight: 0.8–1.3kg, up to 2.0kg
Red cod are members of the Moridae family (morid cods).
Southern bastard cod (P. barbata) and Northern bastard cod (P. breviuscula).
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.
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.
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.
Red cod flesh is delicate with fillets that flake easily when cooked; it is often smoked but can also be fried, baked or poached.
The Red cod has a barbel - a protruding fleshy filament - on its lower jaw, which it uses to detect prey buried in mud or sand.
Red cod is a good source of Selenium and Vitamin B12; and a source of Iodine, Phosphorus, Potassium 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.