Popular recreational fish species

Information about some of New Zealand's most popular recreational fish species. Find out about fish populations, how catches are allocated between commercial, recreational and customary fishers, and what we're doing to ensure there are enough fish for future generations.


Choose a species

Select one of the fish or the pāua to find out about that species.


More species are on our free fishing app

Our NZ Fishing Rules app has information and pictures for many New Zealand fish species, including their scientific names, Māori names, and more. You can view the photo gallery to identify fish, find bag and size limits, and check for closures and restrictions in your area.

Download the app for free on:

After you've downloaded the app, it works without an internet connection.

Species distribution and management maps

If you want detailed maps showing the distribution of specific fish species, use NABIS – our interactive mapping tool. With NABIS you can also see where fishing is restricted.

Fish species export earnings and volumes

Seafood New Zealand has a database with export earnings and volumes for a range of fish species.

Fishery assessments

Every year, Fisheries New Zealand assesses our fish stocks. You can find the stock assessments for 80 fish species on the Fisheries InfoSite.

Every 5 to 6 years, Fisheries New Zealand surveys marine recreational fishers to provide a snapshot of recreational fishing harvest. The most recent survey was in 2017 and 2018.

Know the rules

Use correct fishing methods for your species and area

To protect local fisheries, use correct fishing methods and equipment for measuring your catch, releasing undersize fish, and using set nets, and set lines.

Always check the rules before you go fishing

Fishing rules differ around the country and change regularly. Check the rules for your area every time before you head out.

Find out more

Who to contact

If you have questions about recreational fishing, email recreationalfisheries@mpi.govt.nz

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