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Species - we process at Pelco


The availability of each species is subject to the season and catch. Use the links below to view information on each of the species

Blue Mackerel - Scomber australasicus

Other names: Pacific mackerel

Commonly about 30 -50 cm and 0.9 - 1.2kg. Caught with purse seines with the use of spotter planes usually between March - September. The flesh is a reddish brown and it's high oil content is well suited for commercial bait and smoked for human consumption.


Jack Mackerel - Trachurus declivis

Other names: Horse mackerel

Commonly about 25 - 40 cm and 0.2 - 0.9 kg. The species forms large shoals all around New Zealand waters and is caught with purse seines with the use of spotter planes all year round. The flesh is somewhat dry and oily and is used as commercial bait and smoked for human consumption.


Kahawai - Arripis trutta

Other names: Australian Sea Salmon

Commonly 40-75 cms in length and 0.9 - 3kg. Caught with purse seines with the use of spotter planes usually between April - August. The flesh is a pinkish brown and used for commercial bait and canning.


Skipjack Tuna - Katsuwonus pelamis

Other names: Bonito

Commonly about 50-75 cm and 2 - 5kg. . Caught by purse seine between December - March. Undertakes long migrations in huge shoals. Usually canned and widely used as a recreational bait in New Zealand.


Albacore Tuna - Thunnu alalunga

Commonly about 50-90 cm and 3 - 22kg. Targetted mainly by long-liners and as a by catch to other target tuna species during the October - February. Well regarded, with dry white flesh when cooked, very high in calories and ideally suited for canning. Often referred to as the 'chicken of the sea.'


Trevally - Pseudocaranx dentex

Other names: Silver Trevally

Commonly about 35 - 60 cm and 0.4 - 2.5 kg. Caught by purse seine between December - March. Regarded as good food fishes, marketed whole or as fillets.

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Pelagic Fish Species
in New Zealand waters

There are two main groups of pelagic fish Oceanic and Inshore

Oceanic fish undergo long migrations and consequently have wide distributions. Marlins and tunas are typical examples, usually found beyond the continental shelf in clear blue oceanic water.

The marlins and tunas migrate southwards to New Zealand during the summer and autumn. At least four Indo-Pacific species of tuna visit our shores.

Other warm-water oceanic species which occur seasonally are the southern mackerel, dolphin (not to be confused with the marine mammal of the same name), flying fish, and large sharks, such as the thresher, mako, and tiger sharks.

The barracouta is an example of an oceanic species characteristic of cooler waters, occurring also in southern Australia, South Africa, and South America. It is distinct from the tropical aggressive barracuda, which is not found round New Zealand.

Inshore fish also migrate in response to seasonal water-temperature changes or to spawning stimuli, but they stay close to land and do not travel the vast distances of the oceanic species.

Examples are kahawai, trevally, jack mackerel, and kingfish (yellowtail).