What the Hoki? Diving deep into our favorite fish

If New Zealand hoki were at school, they’d be getting gold stars all around. Correction: they actually are in schools, but you won’t find them sitting at a desk! Hoki is a species of fish abundant in New Zealand waters, and where you will find it is in a couple of our K9 Natural and Feline Natural products.

So why the gold stars? We pride ourselves on only using fish that is sustainably caught, nutritionally rich for our furry customers, and of course tastes great. Below we dive deep into what hoki is, how it ticks those boxes, and why it’s our seafood of choice.

What the heck is hoki?

Hoki is a long, thin deep-sea fish with silvery-blue scales and white flesh.  Also known as blue grenadier, blue hake, or whiptail hake found off the coast of New Zealand. Hoki grows up to 1.3 metres in length, and the meat is delicate, succulent and more flavoursome than most other white fish.

Gold star #1: Sustainability

Sustainability for us is defined by The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), who sets the global gold standard for fishery sustainability, and (spoiler alert) the MSC has certified New Zealand Hoki with the big sustainability tick. In fact, NZ Hoki is considered one of the best managed trawl fisheries in the world.  Catch limits are regularly monitored to ensure trawling doesn’t negatively affect other marine species and because Hoki reproduces in large numbers, the population remains stable. Bonus point-  MSC labelled hoki – which we exclusively use – comes from a fishery that has been independently assessed to the MSC Fisheries Standard.

Gold star #2: Nutrition

We too have heard the tales of industrialised fish being fed a diet of almost exclusively soy and swimming in highly polluted waters not safe for anyone. Luckily, New Zealand breaks the norms offering fish packed full of essential nutrients, and swimming in some of the cleanest waters in the world.

Fish is naturally rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, and hoki is no exception. Omega-3 is known to improve your pet’s infammatory response, easing pain and swelling of the skin , organs and joints. It also strengthens fur and makes it gleam so your four-legged friend can prance with every knowledge they’re looking their best (not that cats need the extra confidence boost).

Hoki is also an excellent source of protein. Living off a species-specific diet in their natural habitat, our hoki is packing more protein than your average fish, offering roughly 15.2g per 100g.

We know that mercury in fish is a concern for some pet owners, so we thought we’d bust some standards here too. Mercury occurs naturally in the sea, but these natural levels are exasperated by industrial pollution. The level of mercury found in a species of fish is dependent largely on their size and longevity – the higher up the food-chain, the higher the level of mercury concentration in the fish flesh. Therefore species with comparatively higher mercury levels are predatory, like sharks and marlin. Hoki, on the other hand, is low down on the food chain. On top of that, New Zealand seas don’t suffer from mercury introduced from human activity, as we’re not industrialised – so the risk is far lower than fish from other parts of the world – two paws up!

Gold star #3: Delectability  

Our fish blends are also known as the pets’ choice award! Pets all over the world taste test our recipes, and they simply don’t turn their nose up at our hoki products – dogs may not be so discerning, but any  any cat owner knows that’s no mean feat.

We don’t settle for silver or bronze. Every ingredient we use is gold standard, and as you can see, hoki has earned its place in our recipe books.