Fisheries Infosite

Tarakihi Challenger (TAR7)
Maori name
Scientific name
Nemadactylus macropterus, Nemadactylus sp. ("King Tarakihi")

Physical characteristics

Tarakihi are grey or silver with paler undersides and have a black band around the nape of the neck. They can grow to a maximum length of 70 cm.

Life cycle

Tarakihi have a maximum age of over 40 years and reach maturity at 25-35 cm length and 4-6 years. Spawning occurs from summer to autumn in three main areas: Cape Runaway to East Cape, Kaikoura to Pegasus Bay, and the west coast of the South Island near Jackson Bay.


Tarakihi are found throughout New Zealand inhabiting depths of 100-500 m. They feed on worms, crabs, brittlestars 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