Nemadactylus macropterus (Scientific name)
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Please check the latest rules and catch limits for tarakihi in your area on the MPI website: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/fishing-aquaculture/recreational-fishing/fishing-rules/
Tarakihi belong to the Cheilodactylidae family and are common around New Zealand. They are about the same size as common, pan-sized snapper but rather more slender.
They can easily be distinguished by the extreme length of one of the rays of the pectoral fins that extends back beyond the vent. It also has a distinctive black band between the head and the dorsal fin.
The dorsal fin has 17-18 spines with 25-28 soft rays and the anal fin has three spines with eight to nine rays.
The colouring is mostly a silvery-grey with a blue-green sheen, shading to silver and white on the belly. This fish has a large v- shaped tail and its mouth is small and somewhat turned down.
Tarakihi are highly regarded by both commercial and recreational fishermen and for many years were New Zealand’s second most important commercial catch. Tarakihi is from the morwong family of fishes which includes porae, red moki, painted moki and red morwong. They are caught around New Zealand throughout the entire year, but mostly found south of East Cape and around the South Island. They are associated with shallow reefs as juveniles, but adults tend to school over open seafloors in deeper waters of 50 to 250m. They are rarely seen in waters above 15-20m, with the exception of the South Island, where they can be found in the 5 to 10 metre range.