Fisheries Infosite

Stargazer Challenger (STA7)
Scientific name
Kathetostoma spp.

Physical characteristics

Stargazers are a mottled brown or olive on top, with a white underside. In juveniles, there can be stripes running along the back. They can grow to a length of 86 cm.

Life cycle

Stargazers have a maximum age of 25 years, becoming sexually mature at 5-7 years old and 40-55 cm in length. Spawning occurs once a year in the winter months.


Stargazers are most commonly found around the South Island, Stewart Island, and the Chatham Islands. They occupy areas of sand and mud at depths of 100-900 m, feeding on fish up to half their own length.

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