Māori Name: Raawaru
Name Scientific: Parapercis colias
Availability: April to September
Attributes Weight: 0.8–1.5kg, up to 3kg
Attributes Length: 30–40cm, reaching 60cm
Blue cod are caught mainly in winter (from April to September) around southern New Zealand and the Chatham Islands. They are also found in the Marlborough Sounds, Cook Strait, and off Wanganui. Most are caught in cod pots.
They are a bottom-dwelling fish, endemic to New Zealand. They are common in colder waters from Cook Strait south and around the Chatham Islands. Juveniles are often found in shallow water. Adults are found at depths of up to 150 metres. Despite this, they are predominately an inshore domestic fishery with little deepwater by-catch.
Body colour varies depending on age and sex. Large males are more distinctly blue with greenish sides and a golden brown stripe above each eye. Some females are mottled and show a trend towards shades of green. Juveniles are white with a broad band of brown along the side. The species has an elongated body with a smoothly sloping head and snout, short, low first dorsal fin, and long second dorsal fin.
Blue cod belong to the Pinguipedidae family (sandperches, weevers).
Spawning takes place in the late winter and spring. Young fish return to the shallow reefs in the summer, growing rapidly in the first year and moderately after that.
Blue cod is predominantly an inshore fishery with very little deep-water catch. A bottom-dwelling fish, they are mostly caught in pots. Blue cod have been fished around New Zealand for more than 80 years. They were introduced into the Quota Management System in 1986. Blue cod abundance is monitored regularly using commercial catch rates for the main fisheries supplemented by potting surveys of areas with significant recreational fisheries.
Blue cod are caught mainly in winter (from April to September) around southern New Zealand and the Chatham Islands. They are also found in the Marlborough Sounds, Cook Strait, and off Wanganui. Most are now caught in cod pots.
Did You Know
Divers find they can approach Blue cod quite easily. They will also sometimes approach divers and nip their fingers, and even their ears.
Blue cod has delicate and flaky textured white flesh. It is mild in flavour and with a low oil content, it is suitable for most cooking methods. Bake; marinate; poach; smoke; use in soup/chowder; or fry.
When buying whole blue cod, 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 blue cod fillets, always check the... FLESH: semi-transparent and glossy If the fish looks sticky or mushy then it is not fresh.