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King Dory, Mirror Dory, John Dory

Standard Names: John Dory (Zeus Faber), Silver Dory, Mirror Dory (Zenopsis nebulose), King Dory

The Dory family are popular eating fish, led foremost by John Dory, which is identifiable by the dark round marking on its side (said to be the thumbprint left when the fish was picked up by St Peter).

They are caught mainly by trawling methods off the continental shelf along the southern half of Australia.

'Pacific Dory' or 'Basa' fillets are in fact imported catfish from Asia of no relation to the Dory family.

See also Oreodory, a closely related species.

Government Stock Assessment
Overfishing Biomass AMCS Listing Accreditations
John Dory Commonwealth Not Subject to
Not Overfished - -
NSW Fully Fished -
Mirror Dory Commonwealth Not Subject to
Not Overfished - -
NSW Fully Fished -
  What do these terms mean?

The Why & How of Sustainability

Any disagreement about the sustainability of Dory is primarily around bycatch and interactions with protected species such as seals and deepwater sharks in the South East Trawl. Otherwise stocks are healthy and under appropriate management. So the question is around an acceptable level of bycatch and deaths of protected species, and whether you trust the government in adequately addressing these concerns.

It is worth noting that there are many dory species, including much frozen and imported fish labelled “dory” (much of which is likely to be Oreodory, see left). In all cases of imported dory, unless you see a certification label such as Marine Stewardship Council, it is much better to choose the fresh Australian version.

Inexplicably, the AMCS has left both John Dory and Mirror Dory out of the latest release of their popular Sustainable Seafood Guide. Watch this space for updates if this changes.

Preparation & Cooking:

Though John Dory remains by far the most popular of the family, consider buying MIRROR or SILVER DORY, which are cheaper, have a similar taste and are suited to the same cooking methods. Dory's have finely flaking, delicate sweet flesh that is best suited to gentle cooking methods such as steaming or pan frying on a low heat.

Sustainable Alternatives:


Yellowfin Bream

BREAM has sweet delicate flesh that can be used as an alternative to any of the Dory family. Like Dory, it is well suited to gentle cooking methods such as steaming, poaching or pan frying.

ALTERNATIVE 2: Leatherjacket

Leatherjacket 'trunk'

LEATHERJACKET has a a pleasant, light flavour and firm white flesh, making it a suitable alternative to Dory. Skinned fillets can be steamed, poached or panfried in any recipe that calls for Dory.

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