Blue cod information

Find out about blue cod, rules, and how we're managing them for future generations.

About blue cod

Māori names: 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 common around the South Island and the Chatham Islands.

Blue cod can live up to 32 years and grow up to 60cm. Their growth is influenced by several things, including sex, habitat, and local fishing pressure. They can change sex from female to male, and males are generally larger than females.

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

You can report poaching, suspicious, or illegal activity online:

Report illegal fishing (such as poaching)

You can also:

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

National Blue Cod Strategy

National survey of recreational fishers results

Who to contact

If you have questions about blue cod, email

Last reviewed: