New Zealand, Wild-caught
Swordfish is without a doubt the largest and most magnificent fish we offer for sale. It has attained legendary status throughout the world for its awesome appearance and also its culinary attributes. The fish has a formidable beak or sword which protrudes from the front of its head and is truly worthy of its Latin name ‘gladiator’. The fish have a dark black/grey back, which fades into a light-grey/white belly, which is covered by a beautiful silver sheen.
Swordfish are highly migratory, so may be caught throughout all of New Zealand’s territorial waters, however the main fishing grounds are the west coast of the South Island, the Bay of Plenty, and the East Cape. It is a pelagic fish, so is caught in the surface layers of water bodies deeper than 3,000 feet, and is often caught in conjunction with moonfish and tuna. Swordfish caught in New Zealand are considered much better than their tropical counterparts (Hawaii, Ecuador, Costa Rica) as they are living in cold water, which means their omega-3 levels (and associated good flavor) are elevated.
All of Lee Fish’s Swordfish are caught via surface long-line. This results in a more sustainable and much better quality catch than net-caught fish, as they are brought aboard the boat live, so can be bled and iced properly. Also Lee Fish’s fleet all have state of the art cooling facilities on board so the temperature is controlled from the moment they are hauled up. The TACC (Total Allowable Commercial Catch) for Swordfish in New Zealand waters is 885 tons, and this is strictly enforced in accordance with the Quota Management System that all NZ fishers must adhere to.
The market price for this fish is variable depending on the time of year, but overall it represents a great-value item to work with. It seems to be the perfect fish for the American palette, with a mild, yet juicy flavor and firm texture. Also, it can be ordered in restaurants in literally every way – ask your wait-staff and chef which country they are sourcing their Swordfish from, it just may well be our sustainable and high-quality product on your plate!