Fisheries Infosite

Redbait 3, 4, 5 & 6 (combined) (RBT3)
Scientific name
Emmelichthys nitidus

Physical characteristics

Redbait feed mainly on larger zooplankton and grow to a maximum total length of 50cm. The species is reddish in colour, darker (bluish grey) dorsally and silvery white below. Redbait is reported to be an excellent food fish.

Life cycle

There is currently no information available on the reproduction or recruitment of this species.


Redbait is a schooling, bathypelagic species (near-bottom to midwater) found over favoured feeding sites – typically submarine rises and seamounts. It has been reported from depths of between 86m to 500m.

Juveniles occur near the surface with adults found near the bottom in deeper water.
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