Blue grenadier

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Blue grenadier
Macruronus novaezelandiae.jpg
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]

Australian supermarkets have many hoki products, mainly in pre-packaged processed foods. Often the [manufactured meat] result is manufactured into a fish cutlet shape and then battered or crumbed to further give a good fresh look.

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 added the blue grenadier (hoki) to its seafood red list.[7] The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand (Forest & Bird) assigns hoki an E grade (red - avoid), primarily due to the impact of its bottom trawling fishing method and bycatch of New Zealand fur seals, albatrosses, petrels and basking sharks[8]

In September 2013, as New Zealand Hoki, it continued to appear on the MSC's list of sustainable fish.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Broad, William (September 9, 2009), "From Deep Pacific, Ugly and Tasty, With a Catch", New York Times 
  2. ^ Vasquez, Michael (August 24, 2009), "Fish or Fake? DNA Researcher Puts the 'Filet-O-Fish' to the Test", Miami Herald 
  3. ^ a b Bray, Dianne. "Blue Grenadier, Macruronus novaezelandiae". Fishes of Australia. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Meet the fishers." Marine Stewardship Council. No date. Accessed 2009-09-10
  5. ^ Broad, William (September 9, 2009), "From Deep Pacific, Ugly and Tasty, With a Catch", The New York Times 
  6. ^ Gaines, Richard (September 22, 2009), "New York Times' report on food fish raises New Zealand industry's ire", Gloucester Daily Times 
  7. ^ Greenpeace International Seafood Red list. No date. Accessed 2012-03-11
  8. ^ "Hoki -- The Best Fish Guide". Forest & Bird. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Sustainable Seafood Shopping." Marine Stewardship Council. No date. Accessed 2013-09-28

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]