Fisheries Infosite

Snapper Central (East) (SNA2)
Maori name
Scientific name
Pagrus auratus

Physical characteristics

Snapper are copper-pink on top with a silver-white underside and a number of small blue dots on the flanks. Their growth varies with region, but can reach a maximum of 105 cm.

Life cycle

Snapper have a maximum age of 60 years and reach maturity at 3-4 years old and 20-28 cm. They are serial spawners and release numerous batches of eggs throughout spring and summer.


Snapper are found in central and northern areas of New Zealand to depths of 200 m. They are one of the most abundant inshore fishes in New Zealand. Snapper feed on a range on invertebrates including crabs, worms and shellfish.

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