Orange Roughy

Species Information

Orange roughy are a relatively new addition to the fishing industry. They were discovered in the early 1970's off the coast of New Zealand and later off the coast of Australia, but New Zealand remains the world's main supply of this fish.

Orange Roughy has a firm flesh that can be easily processed into white, boneless filets that freeze easily. It is a tasty and highly marketable fish. The United State is, by far, its largest market.

As many other deep-sea fish, Orange Roughy are long lived. Studies show that they may commonly live more than 100 years. The long life-time implies that they are late to mature (23-40 years of age) and that they grow slowly. They also have a low reproductive rate and may spawn irregularly.

Cooking & Handling

Orange roughy fillets for sale in the American market have been frozen and defrosted, so cook within 1 or 2 days of purchase. Store refrigerated on ice.

With their moderate oil content, they resist drying out when cooked and are suited to most cooking methods except deep-frying and grilling.

Orange roughy is very low in Saturated Fat. It is also a very good source of Protein and Selenium.

Try orange roughy dishes with flavors such as basil, bell pepper, butter, chives, curry, ginger, kiwi, lemon, lime, mango, orange, papaya, pineapple, rice wine, sesame, shallot, soy sauce and tomato.

Cooking Methods

Bake, Broil, Poach, Sauté, Steam

Global Supply

Australia, New Zealand

Seasonal Availability

Orange roughies are found in deep water off the coasts of Australia and New Zealand. The fresh season is November through March.

Did You Know?

About 70,000 tons of orange roughy are landed each year.

The average age of orange roughy caught in commercial fishing nets is from 30 to 50 years.

This fish is actually brick red when alive but fades to a yellowish-orange once caught and dies.

Scientific Name

Hoplostethus atlanticus

Market Name

Orange roughy

Common Names

Orange roughy, red roughy


Ocean perch, cod, haddock

Raw Characteristics

  • bright orange skin, spiky fin, large, bony head
  • pearly, white meat
  • average weight 3 ½ pounds

Cooked Characteristics

  • mild, delicate flavor
  • moist, large-flaked flesh
  • opaque white
  • medium texture


French: hoplostete orange
German: atlantischer sagebauch
Italian: pesce specchio atlantico Japanese: orenzi-raffi
Spanish: reloj anaranjado