Blue cod

Blue cod are the third most popular recreational fish in New Zealand and are an iconic South Island species. Find out about blue cod, the status of the fishery and how MPI is managing populations for future generations.

About blue cod

Māori name(s): rāwaru, pākirikiri

Scientific name: Parapercis colias

Blue cod are:

  • bottom-dwelling fish found at depths of up to 150m
  • only found in New Zealand waters
  • more abundant south of Cook Strait and around the Chatham Islands.

Blue cod growth is influenced by a range of factors, including sex, habitat and local fishing pressure. They can change sex from female to male and males are generally larger than females.

Blue cod can live up to 32 years and reach a length of up to 60cm.

Check fishing rules for blue cod

Fishing rules for blue cod and other fish species differ around the country and can change. Check the rules for your area every time before you go fishing.

Blue cod fishing rules changed on 1 July 2020

Recreational blue cod regulations overview (map) [PDF, 1.1 MB]

FAQs on the regulation changes [PDF, 227 KB]

The 2019 consultation to change blue cod fishing regulations

Report poaching

Report poaching, suspicious, or illegal activity – call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email

You can help us by providing:

  • the location
  • vehicle/trailer registration number
  • boat name
  • description of the person

When reporting any suspected poaching put your personal safety first. All calls and personal details are treated as confidential.

Find out more

Latest Fisheries Assessment Plenary – Stock assessment and stock status report

National survey of recreational fishers results

Who to contact

If you have questions about this page, email

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