The Japanese meagre fish, locally known as Sua and scientifically known as Argyrosomus japonicus, is a remarkable marine species found in the waters of Pakistan. It’s a mystery fish that so many people ask us about. It is well known for its extraordinarily high prices because of the fish maw in its gut.
The fish maw obtained from this fish has a great market in China. Many fishermen dream of catching this fish but very few succeed. The price of its nose dives immediately when the fish maw is extracted from it and then it is up for auction for local consumption.
The Japanese meagre fish boasts a delightful flavor profile that seafood connoisseurs appreciate. Its flesh is firm, moist, and brilliantly white, with a mild, sweet taste that’s characterized by a delicate seafood essence. The flavor is notably clean and pristine, with a subtle sweetness that complements various culinary preparations.
Japanese meagre’s versatility shines as it harmoniously absorbs the flavors of accompanying seasonings, herbs, and sauces while preserving its innate freshness. Whether grilled to perfection, baked with aromatic spices, or pan-fried to a golden crisp, this fish remains a prized culinary choice, offering a satisfying and exquisite seafood experience.
English Name: Japanese Meagre & Jewfish
Local Name: Sua
Scientific Name: Argyrosomus japonicus
The Japanese meagre (Sua), inhabits the Arabian Sea, specifically along the coasts of Pakistan and neighboring regions. It thrives in warm, tropical waters and is often found near the continental shelf and coastal areas. This species prefers sandy or muddy seabeds, where it can hide and feed, often at depths of 30 to 100 meters.
The Arabian Sea’s diverse marine ecosystem, with its mix of nutrient-rich currents and abundant prey, provides an ideal habitat for Japanese meagre. Here, it preys on smaller fish and crustaceans, sustaining its growth and contributing to its status as a highly regarded fish in local and international cuisines.
Commercial fishing for Japanese meagre (Sua) in the Arabian Sea typically involves various techniques tailored to the species’ behavior. One common method is trawling, which utilizes large nets to target schools of meagre near the sea floor.
Additionally, longlining, using lines with multiple baited hooks, proves effective in capturing individual meagre. Sustainable practices, such as size limits and seasonal restrictions, are often in place to manage the meagre population and prevent overfishing.
The Japanese Meagre (Sua), Argyrosomus japonicus, inhabiting the Arabian Sea, possesses distinctive physical attributes. It features an elongated, robust body with prominent scales, often displaying shades of silvery-gray or bluish-gray. This fish can grow quite large, reaching lengths of up to 2 meters and weighing over 100 kilograms.
Its head is broad, and its mouth is equipped with sharp teeth. Notably, Japanese Meagre’s dorsal fin extends nearly the length of its back, while the tail fin is slightly forked. These attributes, along with its strong, streamlined form, enable it to be an agile predator, effectively navigating the depths of the Arabian Sea in pursuit of prey.
Since Japanese meagre (sua) is a large fish, it’s best suitable for using it as boneless portions of around 100 gms.
Approx. Cutting Yields
– Whole: 100% yield
– Gutted: 80% yield
– Headless and Gutted: 60% yield
– Slices: 55% yield
– Boneless: 40% yield
In Pakistan and South Asia, Japanese Meagre is gaining popularity in commercial seafood catering due to its delicious flavor and versatility. It’s often prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling, deep frying, and pan-frying, which highlights its firm and delicate flesh.
The fish’s mild, slightly sweet flavor pairs beautifully with local spices and herbs, making it a favorite choice for marination and seasoning.
Japanese Meagre (Sua) offers several health benefits. It is a rich source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle growth and repair. Moreover, it provides vital nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart and brain health, reduce inflammation, and bolster the immune system.
Japanese Meagre also contains vitamins like B12, which aids in nerve function and red blood cell production. Additionally, its minerals, including selenium and iodine, act as antioxidants and contribute to overall well-being. When incorporated into a balanced diet, Japanese Meagre can play a vital role in promoting health and vitality among individuals in these regions.