The word whitebait does not refer to a single species. It is a general term used in many countries to describe small freshwater fish that are tender and edible.
In spring, whitebait (could be various species about 4-5 cm long) make their way upstream from the sea, swimming near the river’s edge. Large shoals are referred to as runs. Big runs often follow floods, a few days after the water clears – usually in the daytime on a rising tide. White baiters will catch and sell them around $120 per kg which makes whitebait a delicacy.
NZ Whitebait is tender and the entire fish is edible including head, fins, bones and guts.
Chinese whitebait is raised in fish farms and plentiful quantities are produced for export. The Chinese whitebait (silverfish) is larger than the New Zealand whitebait and not nearly so delicate. The frozen product is commonly available in supermarkets at…
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