Common Commercial Fish Species - Q - Z
Ray's Bream (RBM)
Ray’s bream has a wide distribution, being found in the North Atlantic Ocean and throughout the subtropical to subantarctic waters of the Southern Hemisphere.
The average size of Ray’s bream is 40–50 cm, and it reaches about 60 cm.
Ray’s bream around New Zealand is regularly caught as bycatch in midwater trawl fisheries for squid, hoki, and jack mackerels.
Red Gurnard (GUR)
Red gurnard is widely distributed throughout the world and occurs around New Zealand. It is an abundant species in shallow waters but occurs in depths up to 180 m.
Red gurnard reach sexual maturity at an age of 2-3 years and a fork length (FL) of about 23 cm, after which the growth rate slows. Growth rate varies with location, and females grow faster and are usually larger than males. Maximum age is about 16 years and maximum size is 55+ cm.
Crustaceans are the principal food for Red gurnard.
Red Snapper (RSN)
Red snapper is found on deep coastal reefs, often in caves and overhangs, as well as in open waters to depths of about 400 metres.
There have been few biological studies on red snapper in New Zealand. Some informal studies on age and growth of New Zealand red snapper suggest that the species may be long-lived, perhaps to 80 years.
Average size of red snapper is 30–40 cm, with a maximum size of 55 cm. Red snapper are planktonic feeders on crustaceans and small fish, and appear to be more active at night.
Rock Lobster (CRA)
In New Zealand, they are widespread within the depth range of 5 - 100 m. Rock lobsters are thought to be slow-growing and long-lived. Average sizes (except for Otago) are 9 - 11 cm carapace length, 16-17 cm tail length or 26-28 cm body length and average weight 500 - 750 g.
Feeding is generally nocturnal; a wide range of bottom invertebrates and algae are eaten, with some preference for molluscs and other crustaceans.
Snapper are widely distributed in the warmer waters of New Zealand, being most abundant in the Hauraki Gulf. They are the dominant fish in northern inshore communities and occupy a wide range of habitats, including rocky reefs and areas of sand and mud bottom. Snapper are demersal fish found down to depths of about 200 m, but are most abundant in 15-60 m.
Growth rate varies geographically and from year to year. Snapper from Tasman Bay and the west coast of the North Island grow faster and reach a larger average size (up to 80 cm and over 10 kg,) than elsewhere.
Southern Bluefin Tuna (STN)
Southern bluefin tuna consist of a single stock primarily distributed between 30º S and 45º S, which is only known to spawn in the Indian Ocean south of Java. Adults are broadly distributed in the South Atlantic, Indian and South Pacific Oceans, especially in temperate latitudes while juveniles occur along the continental shelf of Western and South Australia and in high seas areas of the Indian Ocean.
Southern bluefin tuna caught in the New Zealand EEZ appear to represent the easternmost extent of a stock whose centre is in the Indian Ocean.
Spiny Dogfish (SPD)
Spiny dogfish are widely distributed around the South Island and extend as far north as Manakau Harbour and East Cape on the west and east coasts of the North Island respectively.
They are found on the continental shelf and upper slope down to a depth of at least 500 m, but are most common in depths of 50-150 m.
Spiny dogfish are born at a size of 18-30 cm total length. The number of young per litter ranges from 1 to 19.
The maximum ages and lengths in a study of east coast South Island dogfish were 21 years and 90 cm TL for males, and 26 years and 111 cm TL for females.
Males are substantially smaller than females with most males smaller than 189 cm (80%) while most females (53%) are larger than 189 cm.
Swordfish are visual predators with a wide temperature tolerance.
Based on longline catches, swordfish range from 50º N to 45º S in the western Pacific Ocean and from 45º N to 35º S in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Common around the North Island and northern half of the South Island but most abundant along the north-east and north-west coasts of the North Island to a depth of 80 m.
Trevally reach well in excess of 40 years of age. The largest fish are around 60 cm FL and weigh about 4.5 kg.
Surface schooling trevally feed on planktonic organisms, particularly euphausids. On the bottom, trevally feed on a wide range of invertebrates.
Yellowfin Tuna (YFN)
Yellowfin tuna are epi-pelagic opportunistic predators of fish, crustaceans and cephalopods found from the surface to depths where low oxygen levels are limiting (about 250 m in the tropics but probably deeper in temperate waters).
Adults reach a maximum size of 200 kg and lengths of 239 cm. The maximum reported age is 8 years.
Yellowfin tuna in New Zealand waters are part of the western and central Pacific Ocean stock that is distributed throughout the North and South Pacific Ocean west of about 150º W.