Fisheries Infosite

Garfish Auckland(East) (GAR1)
Maori name
Scientific name
Hyporhamphus ihi

Physical characteristics

Garfish have a transparent pale green back, with a silver-white belly and sides. They can grow to a maximum length of 40 cm, but most adults average lengths of 20-30 cm.

Life cycle

Garfish in New Zealand are thought to be slightly more short-lived than the Australian species, which have a maximum age of 10 years. New Zealand Garfish reach maturity at 22 cm. The spawn in spring-summer.


Garfish are found around most of New Zealand and the Chatham Islands. They inhabit areas such as gulfs, bays, and large estuaries. They feed near the surface on invertbrates, algae, and plant matter.

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