Fisheries Infosite

Whitebait South-East(Chatham Rise) (WHI4)
Maori name
Scientific name
Family galaxiidae (juvenile)

Physical characteristics

There are four native species of migratory Whitebait (galaxiid) species (up to a total length of 240mm); shortjaw kokopu (Galaxias postvectis), giant kokopu (Galaxias argenteus), banded kokopu (Galaxias fasciatus) and koaro (Galaxias brevipinnis).

Life cycle



The four species are distributed throughout New Zealand (there are some landlocked sub-populations). Habitat loss for these species has been a result of current and historic landuse change and intensification in New Zealand.

Whitebaite fishing or Whitebaiting is managed by the Deptartment of Conservation.

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