Fisheries Infosite

Blue Cod South East (Coast) (BCO3)
Maori name
Scientific name
Parapercis colias

Physical characteristics

Blue Cod have three colour phases throughout their life. The smallest fish (<10cm) are white with two dark stripes running down the body. The medium sized fish (10-25 cm) have only a single broken line running down the back, and the largest fish (>25 cm) are blue-grey on top with a white underside. Blue Cod can grow to a length of 60 cm.

Life cycle

Blue Cod have a maximum age of 32 years. Age and size at sexual maturity varies widely between areas. Blue Cod are hemaphrodites, with females becoming males at large lengths. Spawning occurs during late winter and spring.


Blue Cod are found throughout New Zealand, but are most common south of the Cook Strait and around the Chatham Islands. They are found at depths to 200 m in sandy areas. They feed on shellfish, crustaceans, salps and small fish.

Key statistics
Recreational significance High
Customary significance High
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