Fisheries Infosite

Yellow Eyed Mullet South-East(Coast) (YEM3)
Maori name
Scientific name
Aldrichetta forsteri

Physical characteristics

Yellow-eyed Mullet are grey-green on top and silver with a yellow tinge on the underside and distinctive bright yellow eyes. They can grow to a maximum size of 40 cm.

Life cycle

Yellow-eyed Mullet have an estimated maximum age of 7 years. They spawn from December to March, although there is a belief that spawning may also occur in winter.


Yellow-eyed Mullet are found around all inshore coasts in New Zealand, except Fiordland. They live in shallow bays, harbours and estuaries, and feed on numerous food types including algae, crustaceans, diatoms, molluscs, insect larvae, fish, polychaetes, coelenterates, fish eggs and detritus.

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