Maori Name: Tarakihi
Latin Name: Nemadactylus macropterus
Weight: 0.9–2.5kg, up to 6kg
Tarakihi belong to the Cheilodactylidae family (terakihi, morwongs) and are common around New Zealand.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tarakihi is one of the top fish for Kiwi consumers. For many years, it was New Zealand's second most important commercial catch.
Tarakihi is a good source of Selenium, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D; and a source of Iodine, Niacin (vitamin B3) and Potassium.
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.