Tarakihi has been commercially fished in New Zealand for over 100 years.
The species is highly regarded by both commercial and recreational fishermen. For many years', they were New Zealand's second most important commercial catch.
Tarakihi are caught all over New Zealand mainly by trawl. Catch numbers increasing from February to June.
The Tarakihi fillet has a medium to firm flesh, a low oil content and is highly regarded for its versatility.Download fact sheet
Tarakihi belong to the Cheilodactylidae family (Tarakihi, Morwongs).
Tarakihi are usually a silver-grey with a blue-green sheen, shading to silver and white on the belly. They have a distinctive black band between the head and the dorsal fin. The body tapers to a forked tail.
The flesh is white and has a medium to firm texture.
Tarakihi is management by the Ministry for Primary Industries using the New Zealand Quota Management System (QMS), to ensure sustainable fishing methods are continuously being practiced by all commercial fisheries.
Regular stock assessments are conducted to estimate fishery stock size and numbers. Scientific studies are also used. From these, scientists can estimate future stock sizes and catch limits.
Tarakihi are common all around New Zealand from the Three Kings Islands in the north to Stewart Island in the south. The major fishing grounds are west and east Northland, the western Bay of Plenty to Cape Turnagain, Cook Strait to the Canterbury Bight, and Jackson Head to Cape Foulwind.
With its medium to firm white flesh and low oil content, Tarakihi is a suitable choice for most cooking methods. It can be used in a delicate or strongly flavoured dish. Tarakihi can be baked, fried, barbecued, poached, curried, marinated, used in a soup or chowder. It is also a great option to serve raw as Sashimi.