Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

roughy the name adopted in Australasia, and now widely used, for fish of the family Trachichthyidae, especially the orange roughy, Hoplostethus atlanticus. As the scientific name indicates, this species is not confined to Australasian waters, although that is where it has come to prominence as a commercial catch and from where it is exported to many destinations. It is also found off S. Africa (where the general common name for fish of this family is slimehead, or slymkop), and in the N. Atlantic, although its presence there, in deep waters to the west of Britain, was little noticed until the end of the 20th century, when sophisticated trawling equipment began to be used, notably by French fishing boats, to make substantial catches of it. Since it is a very slow-growing species, fears have been expressed that it may become a victim of overfishing in the Atlantic, as has already been happening in Australasian waters.