Very similar fish to Bass Groper, and the two species may be confused at market. Hapuku are found in deep offshore reefs around the continental slope across the southern portion of Australia. They are taken by trawlers and as bycatch of dropline fisheries. Largely imported from NZ. Also known as Hapuka or New Zealand Groper.
The why and how of sustainability
NSW DPI lists the exploitation status of Hapuku as 'Undefined', noting that catches in NSW are small compared to those in Commonwealth and New Zealand fisheries. No stock assessment is available for Commonwealth fisheries Lack of a management plan for this species in NZ or Australian Commonwealth fisheries is of concern. Sustainability of current catch numbers is unknown. Bycatch of trawl fisheries is of concern, and Hapuku may be an important species ecologically within their ecosystems.
As a firm, large flaked and flavoursome fish, Hapuku can be replaced in many recipes by fish including MULLOWAY, which is similar. Suited to grilling, frying, baking and steaming.
BLUE-EYE TREVALLA has firm, moist flesh and is a more sustainable alternative to Hapuku. It holds its shape well in curries and can be grilled or fried.
Like Hapuku, LUDERICK is quite versatile. This flavoursome fish can be grilled, BBQ’d, or steamed whole.