New Zealand, Wild-caught
New Zealand Groper is a deep-water species and one of the most sought after of all groupers, due to its reputation for superior flavor and texture. This king of the depths has a dark grey upper body and light grey/silver belly with a massive head and mouth.
Groper is found mainly on the east coast of New Zealand, from Kaikoura and the Cook Strait north, but there are also fishing grounds on the west coast of the South Island. It is fished in waters of 300-1500 feet (100-500m) using long-lines only. Lee Fish USA refuses to source net-caught Groper and Bass due to reasons of both sustainability and quality.
For quota management purposes Hapuku (Groper) is grouped together with Bass for a combined TACC (Total Allowable Commercial Catch) of 2,180 tons. These volumes are strictly enforced and are adjusted annually to reflect the status of the stock and ensure enough biomass remains to provide sustainable harvests in years to come.
Depending on the size of the groper the flavor and texture can range from sweet and delicate in the smaller specimens to juicy and heavy-flaked on the larger fish. From the pristine depths of New Zealand, this Groper cooks up pearly white and is a highly sought after winner in its class.