Scientific name: Genypterus capensis
Other/Common names: In New Zealand and Australia, its
counterparts are known as Ling or Cusk Eel.
Distribution: Found in the deeper coastal waters of southern Africa – from Namibia to the Eastern Cape.
Favouring water ranging from 50 to 500m in depth, this bottom-dwelling fish owes its name to the old Dutch word koningklipvisch, which literally means "king of the rock fishes", as it prefers rocky- bottomed areas.
Although Kingklip resembles the shape of an eel, it's not as round in cross-section. The body of the fish is tinged with a light pink colour, and is covered in irregular brown blotches. Kingklip can grow up to 150cm in size.
It's part of the Ophidiinae fish family, which includes some of the best quality table fishes. Similar to other white fish (such as hake and kabeljou), Kingklip is low in fat. It's also one of the most sought-after fish species because of its superior taste, delicate flavour and firm white flesh. Kingklip is best suited for frying, baking, poaching and grilling.
Kingklip is on the orange (limited stocks) fish species list of the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI). Irvin & Johnson's main target species is MSC-accredited deep sea hake and kingklip is an inevitable by-catch of hake. Just as Irvin & Johnson has a government quota to catch hake, the company also has a government quota to catch kingklip; however, the amount of kingklip caught is very limited.