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Boarfish (Paristiopterus labiosus) Photographs and Information

Boarfish are also known as Giant Boarfish, Common Boarfish and Sowfish.

Boarfish are distributed in temperate waters from north central New South Wales to southern Western Australia. The Boarfish lives in the demersal, marine, depth range 10 - 350 m environment.

They are caught in demersal otter trawls and gillnet fisheries in southern Australia.

Boarfish are a high quality table fish.

Boarfish are also known as Giant Boarfish, Common Boarfish and Sowfish

Giant boarfish (Paristiopterus labiosus) also known as sowfish have peculiar shaped characteristics, which distinguish them from other fish. The most commonly recognizable feature of the boarfish is its long snout and large thick lips. Adult boarfish have large, elongated slab-like bodies with dominant boney heads and gentle sloping foreheads – similar to that of snapper. They have extended back–swept dorsal fins with strong spines running through them. Juveniles and female boarfish have distinctive bands /stripes while the male boarfish (pictured above) have more solid coloured bodies with oblique markings and yellowish spots. The fish can vary in colours from grayish to olive with scattered markings /spots. Juveniles have short deep bodies, with shorter snouts – which become longer as they grow.

Juvenile boarfish are usually encountered in small schools while adults will normally swim in pairs (usually a male and a female pair). Boarfish can grow up to 100cm and weight up to 10kg, but are most commonly taken around the 50 to 60cm mark – around 3 to 6kg. Boarfish can be encountered in depths from 5m to 200m deep. They are commonly found on weed lines around the 15 – 20m mark, but have been re-occurring in shallower waters around 5m during summer. This is believed to be because of their spawning cycles and lack of fishing pressure on them.

Boarfish are distributed in temperate waters from north central New South Wales to southern Western Australia. The Boarfish lives in the demersal, marine, depth range 10 - 350 m environment.

They are caught in demersal otter trawls and gillnet fisheries in southern Australia.

Boarfish are a high quality table fish.

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Observations indicate that the boarfish are most frequently encountered on sandy areas near weed edges/weed lines. They have also been seen in broken, scattered weed edges or structures which sit on sandy or muddy bottoms. While their behaviour is not certain – these are the most common areas in which they have been documented. However, they have also been known to wander into the weed and display behavioral patterns similar to butterfish such as hiding in amongst the kelp, although this is more common in heavily populated weed lines.

Giant boarfish have small bands of sharp teeth in the front of their mouth, with larger molars at the back of their jaws which they use for crushing. Boarfish use their large snouts like pigs to unearth and suck up invertebrates such as crabs, worms, brittle starfish and sea cucumbers from the sand or mud. Boarfish usually inhabit the same area/weed lines for extended periods of time.

Boarfish, Giant Boarfish, Sowfish, Paristiopterus labiosus

wpeC.jpg (3648 bytes)

Giant Boarfish are big fish that pair up for life.



Scientific Name Paristiopterus labiosus
Location NSW, VIC, TAS, SA, WA
Season All year round
Size To 85 cm and 6.7 kg
Australian Species Code 37 367901
Taste, Texture High quality table fish.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Boarfish fillet.

Kilojoules -
Cholesterol -
Sodium -
Total fat (oil) -
Saturated fat -
Monounsaturated fat -
Polyunsaturated fat -
Omega-3, EPA -
Omega-3, DHA -
Omega-6, AA -


Other Boarfish Links:



Angling for Boarfish:

It is a prized sporting fish which will take small lures and also live bait.      

Giant boarfish are occasionally taken by anglers on deep reefs. The giant boarfish (also known as sow fish) is the largest species of the boarfish family (Pentacerotidae). Most often found at 30-150m depths, they can occur as deep as 525m.

Cooking Boarfish:

Giant boarfish are renowned for their excellent eating quality and are highly regarded as one of the best eating fish around. They have few bones and white soft meat. Fillets can normally be quite chunky (if filleted correctly) and their flesh is delicate in flavour and texture. They can be adapted to a variety of recipes, but are best lightly pan-seared or smoked. One should not cook fillets more than 4/5 mins in total as this destroys the soft texture of the meat and makes it tougher.

Microwave Cooking Times for Fish
- Fish fillets – 5 minutes per 500g on medium-high, +50 seconds more for thicker fillets, or until flesh flakes
- Whole fish - Large – 6 minutes/750g on medium
- Whole fish – Small – 3-4 minutes on medium

Commercial Fishing for Boarfish:

They are caught in demersal otter trawls and gillnet fisheries in southern Australia.

Exporters of Boarfish  |  Importers of Boarfish  |  Processors of Boarfish  |
Wholesale Suppliers of Boarfish  |  Seafood Agents for Boarfish  | 

More links about Giant Boarfish and Boarfish Information

Ocean Hunter - Boarfish - New Zealand 100% dedicated spearfishing and freediving specialist.



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