The Cape snoek is an elongated, silvery fish that can reach a maximum length of 2m and weigh up 9kg. It’s scientific name is Thyrsites atun and it is called the Barracouta in New Zealand and Australia – and this name gives you an idea of why it often a ‘game’ fish trageted by recreational line-fishers from ski-boats.
The particular flavour of this unique fish comes because it preys mainly on sardine, anchovy and mantis shrimps – and the traditional South Afrian way to enjoy snoek is on the braai with an apricot jam dressing.
In South Africa, it is found in the waters from northern Angola to Port Elizabeth, mostly between the Cunene River and Cape Agulhas. 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, although it is also an important catch for the traditional linefishers. It favoured by local communities and it forms a big part of their diet.