AMCS lists wild-caught Yellowtail Kingfish as THINK TWICE and Sea-cage farmed Yellowtail Kingfish as SAY NO. Yellowtail Kingfish produced by the Cleanseas group in South Australia has been certified as a sustainable product by Friend Of The Sea. Forest & Bird (NZ) rank Yellowtail Kingfish D (AMBER - CONCERNS) in their Best Fish Guide. Wild stocks face heavy fishing pressure. Pollution of local waters, spread of disease and the quanitity of wild-caught fish needed to feed farmed Yellowtail Kingfish are all of concern.
Yellowtail Kingfish are part of the Trevally family. They are a sleek pelagic fish that are important both commercially and recreationally. Yellowtail Kingfish are available both wild and farmed. Wild, they are caught mainly off NSW by line fisheries between November and March. However, the majority of the fish available at market is farmed in open-pen sea cages in SA. This production is dominated by Cleanseas, a division of the Stehr Group, who are currently the largest producers of cultured Yellowtail Kingfish in the world. These fish are marketed as 'Hiramasa' Kingfish to differentiate them. They are an extremely popular sashimi fish exported in large quantities to Japan. Also imported from NZ.
Preparation and cooking
YELLOWTAIL KINGFISH are popular for their firm, white, slightly oily flesh and medium strong taste. They are highly valued as a sashimi fish but are also excellent grilled or BBQ’d. Like other ‘meaty’ fish, they are best when seared and cooked only to Medium Rare, as further cooking will result in a dry product. Baking with aromatics wrapped in foil will help to retain moisture. As the flesh is firm and holds its shape well during cooking, Yellowtail Kingfish is suited to dicing and adding to curries or soups.
MAHI MAHI is a tropical gamefish with similar ‘meaty’ flesh to that of Yellowtail Kingfish. Suitable for grilling or BBQ’ing as the firm flesh holds its shape well. Can also be diced and used as ‘kebabs’ or in a curry. As with other gamefish, the meat will dry out and become chewy when overcooked.