Fisheries Infosite

Kahawai Extra Territorial (200 mile limit) (KAHET)
Maori name
Scientific name
Arripis trutta, A. xylabion

Physical characteristics

There are two species of Kahawai, Arripus trutta and Arripus xylabion. A. trutta are more common, but both species look very similar and are blue-green with black spots on the back and silver undersides. A. tutta reaches a maximum length of 79 cm and A. xylabion can reach 94 cm.

Life cycle

There is no available data on the biology of A. xylabion. A. trutta have a maximum age of 26 years and reach maturity at 39-40 cm in length, corresponding to about 4 years old.


Kahawai is mostly found north of Cook Strait at depths to 150 m. They feed on other fish, crustaceans and copepods.

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