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Snoek

Scientific name: Thyrsites atun

Other names: Cape snoek; Barracouta (New Zealand and Australia)

The snoek is an elongated, silvery fish that is widely distributed in southern Africa, from northern Angola to Port Elizabeth. However, most fish are found between the Cunene River and Cape Agulhas. The snoek is a medium-sized fish that reaches a maximum length of 2 m, corresponding to a mass of 9 kg. In South Africa, adult fish prey mainly on sardine, anchovy and mantis shrimps.

Snoek is caught in trawl nets with hake and is a common “by-catch” species of the South African deep-sea and inshore trawl fisheries. Snoek is also an important catch of the traditional linefishery, particularly in the western and southwestern Cape and the species is targeted by recreational linefishers, usually from ski-boats.

The traditional South African way to enjoy snoek is on the braai.