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Grey-blue to grey-brown above, white below, and has small scales. Distinguished from the related but less common bass groper by its more slender body, pointed head, and protruding lower jaw. Found right around New Zealand, including the Chatham Rise but not the Campbell Plateau. Most common over or near rocky areas, down to 250 m. Main fishing areas are the deep canyons off the East Coast of the North Island, Cook Strait, off Kaikoura and off the West Coast of the South Island. Caught mainly by longline and handline, though occasionally by trawl and recently set net. Available all year round but landings peak in mid winter during the spawning season, June-August. Seabass is noted for its clear white flesh that is almost as delicate in taste as that of Hawaii's deep-sea snappers.
Epinephelus morio; Mycteroperca bonaci
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