Blue grenadier

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Blue grenadier
Macruronus novaezelandiae.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gadiformes
Family: Merlucciidae
Subfamily: Merlucciinae
Genus: Macruronus
Species: M. novaezelandiae
Binomial name
Macruronus novaezelandiae
(Hector, 1871)

The blue grenadier, hoki, blue hake, New Zealand whiptail, whiptail or whiptail hake, Macruronus novaezelandiae, is a merluccid hake of the family Merlucciidae found around southern Australia and New Zealand at depths of between 10 and 1,000 m (33 and 3,281 ft). It feeds in midwater on small squids, crustaceans, and fish. Its length is between 60 and 120 cm (24 and 47 in). It is a slender, silvery fish similar in appearance to the gemfish. The meat of the fish is white and almost always sold in filets.

Commercial use[edit]

The hoki is one of the species used in McDonald's Filet-O-Fish, Fish Fingers and McFish sandwiches.[1][2] It was previously served at Long John Silver's and Denny's restaurants in the United States, and continues to be served at Denny's in New Zealand.[1]

The Blue grenadier is a very important commercial species in Australia.[3] They are mostly caught in the south east, off southern New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia and are considered very good eating, particularly when fresh.[3]

Sustainable consumption[edit]

Blue grenadier filet with rice, dill and mustard sauce.

The blue grenadier is the subject of a large commercial fishery industry in New Zealand, which has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as well-managed and sustainable in March 2001. New Zealand has established a fishing quota of about 100,000 tons.[1] The first MSC certification ended in April 2007. Reassessment of the certification commenced in early 2005 and finished in October 2007.[4] A 2009 New York Times article raised questions over the sustainability of blue grenadier fishing practices around New Zealand,[5] though its conclusions were disputed by New Zealand representatives.[6] However, recent quotas on catches have declined by nearly two-thirds from 275,000 to 100,000 tons.

In 2010, Greenpeace International has added the blue grenadier (hoki) to its seafood red list. "The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries."[7]

In September 2013, as New Zealand Hoki, it continued to appear on the MSC's list of sustainable fish.[8]


Further reading[edit]

  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Macruronus novaezelandiae" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
  • Ayling, Tony & Cox, Geoffrey (1982), Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand: William Collins Publishers, ISBN 0-00-216987-8 

External links[edit]