Handline caught fish:
Seasonal South African linefish
Gordon’s Bay Fisheries specialises in the sourcing, sale and distribution of fresh, seasonal South African linefish.
Most, if not all, of our fresh linefish are caught in the coastal area between L’Agulhas and Stilbaai and brought to Gordon’s Bay Fisheries directly from the boats. Gordon's Bay Fisheries relies on small-scale, commercial, traditional handline fishermen for our supply of fresh linefish which include Kob (Kabeljou), Cape Salmon (Geelbek), Yellowtail, Red Roman, Silverfish, Santer and more.
Linefish is caught one fish at a time with a handline and baited hook off a licensed commercial vessel carrying between two to eight crew members.
Handline fishing is an art and the most sustainable and ethical method of fishing with minimal bycatch or harm to the ocean.
Seasonal availability: Catch is dependent on the weather and season in the year.
Kabeljou is one of South Africa’s prime linefish species synonymous with South African seafood cuisine. Kabeljou is recognised by its silver to darker silver-grey skin with a single row of silver dots along the lateral line on either side of the body. Kabeljou has a mild taste and a firm, white flesh which is popular as a braai fish, fried in the pan, baked/grilled in the oven and when really fresh, eaten as ceviche.
Seasonal availability: Mostly spring, summer and autumn (weather dependent).
Minimum legal size: 50cm
Maximum legal size: 110cm (only one per crew member per boat)
Argyrosomus japonicus/ Dusky Kob is the larger and slightly darker species of Kob found along the South African coast from Cape Point up to southern Mozambique. They are migratory fish and a large portion of the population from the Southeastern and Western Cape migrate to KwaZulu Natal during the sardine run in Winter/Spring to spawn.
Unfortunately, the destructive trawling industry targets Kabeljou and catch Kabeljou as by-catch when trawling for soles, sardines, chokka etc. Do not buy trawled, undersize or larger than 110cm Kabeljou/ Kob
Cape Salmon/ Geelbek (Atractoscion aequidens)
Cape Salmon/Geelbek is one of the Cape’s prime fish species recognised by its yellow gill plates, yellow inside the mouth, slender body, blue-silver grey skin and beautiful copper and purple colouration on its head when fresh. A delicious fish with a slightly wild taste and lean, firm flesh. Cape Salmon is prized as a braai fish, grilled/fried in the pan and when very fresh eaten raw as sashimi.
Seasonal availability: Mostly spring and summer (weather dependent)
Minimum legal size: 60cm
Unfortunately, during their migration, Cape Salmon runs straight into the devastating nets of in-shore trawlers operating on the South and East coast en-route to their spawning grounds in KwaZulu Natal and on their way back to Agulhas and False Bay. Do not buy trawled or undersize Cape Salmon
Yellowtail/ Geelstert (Seriola lalandi)
Yellowtail is a fast swimming, robust, shoaling gamefish with a darker, wilder, lean, firm flesh. Yellowtail is a delicious fish perfect for the braai, baked in the oven, panfried, in curries and when very fresh as sashimi. Due to its leanness it is advised not to overcook Yellowtail. An oil-base basting or few dollops of butter while cooking is recommended to ensure a succulent, sumptuous meal.
Yellowtail is recognised by its smooth torpedo shape, beautiful dark olive green back, yellow/ bronze stripe along the whole side of the body and head, pearl coloured belly and yellow tail and fins.
Minimum size: None
Seasonal Availability: Mostly spring and summer (weather dependent)
Beach seine netters still target Yellowtail in False Bay and along the sardine run, ruining the survival of the species by trekking/ netting shoals of Yellowtail and other fish species, adults and juveniles, indiscriminately. Do not support beach seine netting (trekking) practices or any netting or trawling of especially traditional line fish species.
Red Roman (Chrysoblephus laticeps)
The flesh of Red Roman is delicate with a tinge of pink when raw and white with a fine flake when cooked. This beautiful fish smacks of the sea and is suitable for baking whole in the oven, panfrying and an excellent accompaniment in fish soups and fish curries.
Red Roman is recognised by its light to dark orange/ red colour, white saddle over the back and gill plates and a blue line across the nose that connects the eyes.
Minimum legal size: 30cm
Seasonal availability: Mostly spring and summer (weather dependent)
Red Roman is a slow growing fish with more females than males in the population. A male will fiercely protect his territory and “harem”. If necessity arise an older female will change sex and take over the role as territorial male. This is a remarkable means to ensure the survival of the species. It is imperative that fishermen should not land Red Romans smaller than 30cm as they only become sexually mature when they reach that size and age.
Silverfish (Carpenter) Argyrozona argyrozona
Silverfish/ Carpenter is a smallish predator fish recognised by its dark coral colour, silver-pink stripes along the sides with silver-blue dots along the lateral line and deep orange colour around the pupil. Silverfish has a slightly pink flesh when raw and white with fine flakes when cooked. Silverfish is a delicate fish suitable for pan frying, baking or grilling whole in the oven.
Silverfish (Carpenter) is endemic to South African waters and found from Table Bay in the Western Cape up to KwaZulu Natal on the east coast. Silverfish feeds on sardines, anchovies and squid.
Seasonal availability: All year (weather dependent)
Minimum legal size: 35cm
Do not buy undersized or trawled Silverfish (Carpenter)
Longline caught fish:
Our longline caught fish include Hake (Merluccius Capensis/ shallow-water Cape hake and/or Merluccius paradoxus/ deep-water Cape hake), Kingklip (Genypterus Capensis), Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares)-also caught by line and pole and Dorado (Coryphaena hippurus)-also caught by line and pole.
Longline caught fish is caught using lines with multiple baited hooks attached. Longline fishing is a more sustainable method of fishing than trawling with less damage to the ecosystem and minimum to no damage to the ocean bed. The drawback of longline fishing is the chance of seabirds and other marine animals going for the bait and getting caught. Precautions are put in place through the use of tori lines (bright streamers) that are strung above the baited lines to drive birds away. Regulations are in place that allow only a small percentage of by-catch of non-targeted fish and other marine animals. Longline caught fish is of a superior quality to trawled fish as it is not squashed in an enormous net during the process of catching and hauling in.
Hake (Merluccius Capensis)
Hake is one of the best-known fish species in the country. Hake has a fine white meat with very little bones when filleted. Hake is an excellent fish for baking and frying. Hake is native to South African waters and found from Cape Agulhas to Port Nolloth on the North Western coast of South Africa. Our longline Hake is caught close to Hout Bay and is the same product and of the same quality as you would find on the fish trader’s floor in Europe. We are proud to bring you this.
Seasonal availability: All year- although scarcer in winter (dependent on the weather)
Kingklip (Genypterus Capensis)
Kingklip is one of the finest eating and highly regarded fish in South Africa with a very firm, lean white flesh and boneless when filleted. Kingklip is an eel-like fish that lives on or near the seabed and for this reason longline caught Kingklip is the most sustainable method of catching this species, as trawling damages and destroys the seabed in the catching process. Kingklip is native to South African waters and found from Algoa Bay on the East coast all the way up to Walvis Bay in Namibia. Kingklip is caught as a by-catch of hake and may not be targeted on its own.
Seasonal availability: All year depending on the weather
Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)
Fresh Yellowfin Tuna is a delicious, lean, meaty gamefish which is best grilled, seared or eaten raw. It is essential to prepare it medium to medium-rare to preserve the rich, melt in the mouth flavour and texture.
Tuna offers a source of phosphorus, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, choline, vitamin D, the minerals potassium, iodine, magnesium and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Seasonal availability: spring and summer depending on migratory patterns
Though almost all fish are cold blooded, tunas have a specialized blood vessel structure called a counter-current heat exchanger that allows them to maintain a body temperature that is higher than the surrounding water. This adaptation provides them with an advantage when hunting in cold water, enabling them to move faster to hunt squid, herring, mackerel, etc. which are all very fast swimmers.
Yellowfin tunas must constantly swim. Never once in their lives do they stop. They even swim slowly while sleeping. To obtain oxygen from the water, fish pass water over their gills. Tunas lack the ability to pass water over their gills when they are not moving, therefor they must continuously swim forward with their mouths open to keep their blood oxygenated.
Imported fresh fish:
Fresh Norwegian Salmon is known for gracing the forever popular sushi menu with its beautiful colour and smooth, palatable texture when eaten raw and melt in the mouth richness when pan-fried, en-croute or baked whole. Norwegian salmon is an excellent source of protein, Vit A, Vit D, Vit B12, antioxidants and rich in Omega-3’s.
Fresh Norwegian Salmon is flown into South Africa from Norway two to three times a week (depending on the season and demand) to ensure that the freshest product possible reach your table. Norwegian Salmon is sustainably farmed in large pens in the ice-cold seas of Norway under strictly regulated conditions. Our fresh Norwegian salmon varies between 4-5kg per fish.
Seasonal availability: All year
In the 1970s, Japan did not import a single piece of fish and it did not use salmon for sushi. That all started to change in the early 1980’s after a Norwegian seafood delegation visited the Asian country. Project Japan was initiated by Norwegian Fisheries minister Thor Listau and launched as a government initiative to promote the Norwegian Seafood industry. The timing was perfect as Japan’s seemingly endless supply of fish from their own seas was running low due to overfishing, population growth accelerated and the economy was doing well. The project had a profound effect on the culinary habits of Japanese who were unaccustomed to eating salmon raw. In Japan locally caught Pacific salmon was traditionally used for grilling and kirimi, a lightly salted and dried fish dish. It took nearly 10 years from when the first Norwegian salmon went to Japan and everybody said “we do not eat raw salmon” to the breakthrough for raw consumption in 1995. In the 1990s, the Japanese cooking show “Iron Chef” and enterprising celebrity chefs began endorsing Norwegian salmon on national television. With its dewy, smooth texture and tasty fat, salmon began to catch on and people began to demand the Atlantic fish in restaurants across the country.
Project Japan not only blazed a trail for Atlantic salmon for raw consumption in Japan, it also opened doors for the salmon sushi markets in China, Hong Kong and Singapore. (sources: japantimes.co.jp; norwayexports.no)