Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Local" Silver Dory

Silver Dory, zenopsis conchifer (aka. American dory, local dory) is a deep water species of benthic fish that can be found in Atlantic waters, it is related to John Dory but differs in appearance being much more slender and compressed with monochromatic silver coloring in adults, and lacking the bold black "thumb print", although juveniles of this species may have similar light markings that fade with age. The dory is a good food fish with firm mild flavored white flesh and a fine flake. The fillets are rather thin and yield is only about 25% meat from whole fish.

The range of this dory in the Americas is from Nova Scotia's Sable Island and south to the Carolinas. The silver dory is a deep water species and is found from 60 meters to 600 meters depths, most being found in depths near 150 meters on or near the continental shelf. There is no targeted fishery for dory and most are caught as incidental bycatch in deep water trawls (ie. deep water loligo squid, monkfish, whiting, and skate). Adults are solitary feeding on small fish and wide range of crustaceans and squid. It is thought that they only come together at times to spawn from March through July. It is at these times that under the right conditions large numbers of fish are caught along with other targeted species. There is currently no regulations regarding this fishery as bycatch, and there seems to be insufficient data to determine the sustainability of the species.
So although the price and quality of the "local" dory is desirable the relative unavailability of the fish classifies it as an occasional treat.

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