Fisheries Infosite

Jack mackerel 3, 4, 5 & 6 (Combined) (JMA3)
Maori name
Scientific name
Trachurus declivis, T. murphyi, T. novaezelandiae

Physical characteristics

There are three species of Jack Mackerel known in New Zealand. The most common is Trachurus novaezelandiae which is yellow-green with light brown or grey bands on top, silver-white underside, yellow teal, and a black spot on the gill cover. The other two species, T. declivis and T. murphyi are similar. They have maximum lengths ranging from 47-60 cm.

Life cycle

T. novaezelandiae and T. declivis have a maximum age of over 25 years, while T. murphyi is estimated at 32 years. Maturity is reached in T. novaezelandiae at 26-30 cm and 3-4 years; in T. declivis at 26-30 cm and 2-4 years. All three species spawn through spring and summer.


Jack Mackerels are found throughout New Zealand, T. novaezelandiae is found only in northern areas. The species inhabit depths ranging from 0-500 m, species dependent.

Key statistics
Recreational significance Medium
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