Tuesday, 2 November 2010


Cod help us - the most delicious fish in the country is in a parlous state.

Blue cod is one of our favourites - and we admit to loving the heads more than the fillets. Our favourite boil up - bar none. Just a few shallots, pepper and salt and boil or steam. Eat, lay, sigh.

It is a staple of the Southland diet and just as Bluff oysters taste better than the same species grown in Nelson, the Southern deep cold sea Blue cod tastes better than cod from anywhere else apart probably from the Chathams.

We use to go commercial blue cod fishing for three or four days every month with our previous partner.

Its a tough fishery, hard demanding and often boring. And its prone to serial depletion. That is the fishermen go where its easiest to catch the fish and they can get fished out quickly.

However there could be a goods reason that the catches are down

The total allowable commercial catch for BCO 5 is set at about 1500 tonnes, fetching more than $35 million when the quota is filled, but Mr Carbines said 300 tonnes less than that was caught on average during the past three years.

"... We can safely say we have concerns for the fishery," he said.

If there is a good year for lobster, those lobster fishermen who hold Blue cod quote dont bother fishing it. And there have been some bloody good years for the lobster fishermen.

We applaud the BCO5 fishermen and the government for engaging in a longish term four year study to find out the true state of the fishery.

And as for the best way to eat Blue Cod ? Sashimi or lightly pan fried in butter with just a smidgeon of tarragon.

Its also excellent in a tempura batter.

And the wine? Olssens Pinot Gris. Its layers of stone fruit lift the ozone out of our country's greatest tasting fish.


Anonymous said...

Another reason for depletion is the ever growing NZ asian market. They love blue cod, but they go for a smaller center-of-the-table fish.

What's the point in steaming dowm to the Snares for big cod that you are not allowed to process to fillets at sea? You wind up carting back heads and frames and burning fuel to do it. The asians only want the smaller ones, so steam to closer ground with fewer big fish and save money. Closer grounds then get hammered. MFish then get worried but don't see how their rules contribute to the decline.

robertguyton said...



baxter said...

$40 a kilo at my supermarket last week.