Fisheries Infosite

Frostfish South-East(Chatham Rise) (FRO4)
Maori name
Scientific name
Lepidopus caudatus

Physical characteristics

Frostfish have smooth skin and are uniformly bright silver. They can grow to a maximum length of 160 cm in New Zealand waters.

Life cycle

Many parameters are unknown for Frostfish in New Zealand, but in the Mediterranean they are thought to have a maximum age of 8 years. Also in the Mediterranean, maturity is reached at 97 cm and 111 cm for males and females respectively. Spawning in New Zealand occurs during Summer and Autumn.


Frostfish live on the continental self and upper slopes throughout New Zealand. They live at depths of 50-600 m, but are mostly found around 200 m. Frostfish feed on crustaceans, small fish, and squid.

Key statistics
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