Pink Ling, Rock Ling, Tusk
Pink Ling, Rock Ling and Tusk are closely related, eel-like species of fish with long, tapering bodies. Pink Ling is found in marine environments and is caught by trawlers on the continetnal slope off southern Australia. It can be identified by its mottled pink and orange skin. Rock Ling is darker, with mottled grey skin. It is found in inshore environments, with young specimens often found in estuaries. Both are available year round and are often caught as by-catch of trawl and netting fisheries. Most, if not all, of the product available is Pink Ling, not Rock Ling. However, Pink Ling is often sold in Melbourne restaurants under the name 'Rockling'. There are also significant imports of filleted and frozen product from NZ which are usually marketed simply as 'Ling'.
|Government Stock Assessment|
|Commonwealth||Uncertain||Not Overfished||Say No||–|
|New Zealand||No Overfishing||Not Overfished||Say No||NZ Ling trawl & line fishery is
Marine Stewardship Council
|What do these terms mean?|
The why and how of sustainability
Pink ling fisheries are limited by a Total Allowable Catch system in both Australia and New Zealand and both countries aim to manage for a sustainable and productive stock. Whilst there are concerns related to uncertain scientific modelling and the bycatch associated with the whole South East Trawl fishery, there are no major sustainability issues that cause alarm bells to ring. The eastern Australian stock is below target limits and is currently in a rebuilding stage with lower catch limits being set. Most of the AMCS's concern stems from potential for habitat degradation and species interactions, as well as criticism of the lack of data available for many of the stocks in both NZ and Australia. Given continued management levels and future improvements in bycatch reduction and assessment processes, Pink Ling from Australia and NZ looks like a reasonable choice. However your choice should depend on whether you trust the government and managers to be precautionary and continue to improve their practices around issues of scientific uncertainty, modelling and bycatch. Watch this space.
Preparation and cooking
The LING group are well regarded eating fish for their firm, white flesh that holds its shape under most cooking methods.
Thickly cut steaks or darnes are meaty and can be grilled or BBQ’d. Fillets are thinner and require quicker cooking methods – try pan frying.
The moist flesh can be made into fish cakes and is well suited to smoking or salt curing as a replacement for the traditional cod.
The thin, moist fillets of WHITING are a suitable alternative to the thin white flesh of Ling fillets or tails. Like Ling they are suited to quick cooking methods such as panfrying.
Whether smoking, grilling, BBQ’ing or making fishcakes, try LUDERICK as an alternative to Ling.
When Grilling or BBQ’ing steaks, try BARRAMUNDI as an alternative. Its large flakes are firm and meaty, making them well suited to these cooking methods.