Snapper – Tai

Snapper – Tai

Pagrus Auratus

Market Name(s): Tai Snapper, Tamure Snapper, Pink Snapper, Red Sea Bream

Primary Source(s): New Zealand

Season: Year Round

Size Range:  1-8 lbs

Tai Snapper is actually not a snapper at all. It is a pink sea bream, or porgy, in the Sparidae family. The snapper title, according to legend, was given to this fish mistakenly by renowned eighteenth century British navigator Captain James Cook. With its pink and silvery scales, it does bear a close resemblance to the American Red Snapper, a common fish in Atlantic waters, which likely explains the confusion. Market Names for this fish also include "New Zealand Red (or Gold) Snapper."

Most Tai Snappers are wild caught on longlines in the cold waters between New Zealand and Japan, where this fish has attained its greatest popularity (ours hail from dayboat inshore catches in the waters of Northern New Zealand). The Japanese revere it as one of the best-tasting fish in the sea. The word "tai" in Japanese means "good fortune" - and is often served there at celebratory feasts from New Year to weddings, and even the birth of a child. It is fortunate for us all that this delicious fish is flown in fresh from New Zealand, and is always of high quality.

Product Lifecycle - Sea to Plate

* Each long-line boat fishes between 6 to 24 hours for Tai and other in-shore bi-catch

* The line is lowered into the sea and the skilled fishermen have to determine what the optimum depth of each strut should be and depending on the type of fishing, how far each strut is spaced. Once the line is in the water the fishermen waits about half an hour before the back up boat reels in the line and removes the fish from the hooks. There is a delicate balance to bringing in the catch alive while still trying to give the fish