Fisheries Infosite

Barracouta Auckland (East) (BAR1)
Maori name
Scientific name
Thyrsites atun

Physical characteristics

Barracouta have smooth skin that is dark blue on the top and silvery on the underside. They can grow to lengths of 135 cm, but most adult fish are between 60-90 cm.

Life cycle

Barracouta have a maximum age of around 10 years. The reach maturity at 50-60 cm in length and 2-3 years of age. Spawning takes place during late winter-spring on the east and west coasts, and in late spring in Southland and the Chatham Islands.


Barracouta are widely distributed throughout New Zealand coastal waters. Juveniles live inshore to depths of 100 m, while adults are found further out at depths up to 400 m.

Key statistics
Recreational significance Low
Customary significance Medium
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025