Fisheries Infosite

Southern Blue Whiting New Zealand (excluding Sub-Antarctic) (SBW1)
Scientific name
Micromesistius australis

Physical characteristics

Southern Blue Whiting are grey-blue on top with many black spots and silver-white undersides. They can reach up to 60 cm in length.

Life cycle

Southern Blue Whiting have an estimated maximum age of 25 years. Males reach maturity at 33-40 cm length and 2-4 years of age. Females reach maturity at 35-42 cm length and 3-4 years of age. They are synchronised batch spawners with four main spawning locations in New Zealand. Spawning time varies with site, but generally is August-October.


Southern Blue Whiting are most common in sub-Antarctic waters of New Zealand at depths from 200-800 m.

Key statistics
Recreational significance Low
Customary significance Low
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