Which Fish for Fish & Chips?

Australian species used in fish and chips

Australians are spoilt for choice when they walk into their local fish and chip shop and around the country there are a whole range of different fish species on offer. The local favourites often reflect what is caught nearby, but there are a few popular fish available nationwide. Here are the most popular Australian-caught species sold as fish and chips.

Flake: If you buy flake, you’ll be getting a fillet of Gummy Shark (Mustelus antarcticus) from Australia, or the closely related New Zealand species (Mustelus lenticulatus). It’s available across most of Australia, although it’s a firm favourite in the southern states. Flake fillets are soft, moist, white and almost boneless with a mild fish flavour.

Whiting: Whiting is another popular fish and can be one of 13 related species in Australian waters. In the southern states it’s usually King George or Yellowfin Whiting, with Sand or Trumpeter Whiting more common in the north. Whiting has a firm, flaky texture and a sweet flavour.

Snapper: Australian snapper (Pagrus auratus) is actually part of the bream family. Snapper is caught all around Australia, particularly in South Australia and Western Australia. Snapper has moist, flaky flesh with a delicate flavour.

Barramundi: Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) is a quintessential Australian fish that lives in both fresh and saltwater. Its Aboriginal name means ‘large-scaled fish’ and Australian barramundi are both wild-caught and farmed. The fish has firm, moist, white-pinkish flesh with a distinctive but mild flavour.

Flathead: Flathead are bottom-dwelling fish, mainly caught off the eastern and south-eastern coast. There are 44 flathead species found in Australian waters, the most common of which are Sand Flathead and Dusky Flathead. Flathead flesh flakes easily and has a distinctly sweet flavour.

Other popular Australian fish include:

  • Mulloway, also called Butterfish in South Australia and Jewfish in NSW.
  • Garfish, particularly popular in South Australia.
  • Blue Grenadier, also known as Hoki in New Zealand.
  • Mullet, common in NSW and Queensland.


* While the names fish are sold under vary, the Australian Fish Names Standard AS 5300-2015 recommends standard names for each species caught or traded in Australia.