Fisheries Infosite

Red Cod Challenger (RCO7)
Maori name
Hoka (Northern tribes)
Scientific name
Pseudophycis bachus

Physical characteristics

Red Cod are greyish red-brown or pink on top with white-pink undersides and a large black spot at the base of the pectoral fin. They can grow to a maximum length of 77 cm, though most adults are 40-70 cm.

Life cycle

Red Cod have an estimated maximum age of 6 years. They reach maturity at 45-55 cm of length and 2-3 years old. Spawning differs with latitude, but mainly occurs between August and October.


Red Cod are present throughout New Zealand, but are most commonly found around the South Island. They are found at depths from 0-600 m. Red Cod live over sand or muddy substrates and near rocky caves in shallow waters.

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