Fisheries Infosite

Grey Mullet 3, 4, 5 & 6 combined (GMU3)
Maori name
Scientific name
Mugil cephalus

Physical characteristics

Grey Mullet have greyish blue tops with bluish-green stripes along the sides and silver undersides. They can grow to a maximum length of 90 cm, but most adults are less than 40 cm.

Life cycle

Grey Mullet has a maximum age of at least 15 years. They reach maturity at 3 years of age and a length of 33 cm for males and 35 cm for females. Spawning occurs at sea during November-February.


Grey Mullet is found throughout New Zelaand, but prefers warmer inshore marine, estuaries, and rivers of northern New Zealand. They feed on algae.

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