sea carp, red moki
Scientific name: Cheilodactylus spectabilis
Closed season 1 March - 30 April each year.
Banded morwong are measured nose to the fork of the tail.
This large species of morwong is white with a number of distinctive reddish-brown vertical bars across the flanks. The chin and belly are white and the fins are a uniform reddish-brown or grey.
Up to 70 cm and 15 kg.
Banded morwong are normally found around shallow exposed rocky reef areas in depths between 3-50 metres. They occur along most of the east and south east coasts of Tasmania.
Banded morwong are not popularly targeted by recreational fishers, although some are taken in gillnets and by diving. Their rate of growth is fast in the first 5 years and then slows. Males grow larger than females and mature banded morwong may be as old as 90 years.
Responsible fishing tips:
Cut the mesh in the net to release the fish in preference to pulling as this may damage the gills, eyes, skin and fins. Use a de-hooker or pliers to remove hook or cut the line.
The firm, flaky flesh of this species has a distinctive, medium flavour, though is sometimes considered dry. It is best cooked in a way that ensures moisture is not lost such as baking in foil. Suitable to bake, foil-bake, barbeque, shallow or deep-fry, marinate or poach.Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe