Fisheries Infosite

Sprats Challenger (SPR7)
Maori name
Scientific name
Sprattus antipodum, S. muelleri

Physical characteristics

Sprats are dark blue on top and silver on the underside. They grow to lengths of 8-15 cm.

Life cycle

Maximum age for the Sprat has not been established. Spawning occurs between June and November in cool temperate waters.


Sprats occur throughout New Zealand, but are most common along the south-eastern coast of the South Island. They are mid-water fish over the shelf that move closer inshore for spawning.

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