Wild Shellfish Alert - Do not eat wild shellfish from areas in and around Spring Bay and the Mercury Passage in South East Tasmania.
Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.
rock cale, cocky fish, bird fish, weed whiting
Herring cale have a long, cylindrical body shape allowing them to swim in an eel-like manner. Males are dark blue to black with iridescent blue lines on the fins and snout. Females and juveniles are brown with darker brown mottling on the flanks. Their mouth is shaped for grazing seaweeds with fused teeth in both upper and lower jaws, giving a beak-like appearance.
As herring cale have a strong weedy flavour, consider admiring these colourful fish and releasing them unharmed.
Coastal reefs and rocky intertidal areas to 30 metres which contain their preferred diet of brown algae.
Herring cale are occasionally caught on hook and line while fishing for other reef species or taken in nets. Adults will return to their favoured feeding sites seasonally and males are believed to behave territorially during breeding season.
Although these fish produce two nice fillets relatively free of bones, the flavour is strongly weedy so any cooking methods that cover this taste are recommended.
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550