Kingfish: Facts

Scientific name: Seriola lalandi

Other names: haku, kahu, makumaku, warehenga (Maori), yellowtail kingfish, northern kingfish

Ranking: D (Amber - Concerns)

Best Fish Guide: Kingfish

 Ranking: D (Amber - Concerns)

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Alternative choice: Best choice, no alternative

Top NZ Chef, Shaun Clouston's, Green Curry of Yellow Tail Kingfish with Bean Sprouts and Crisp Shallots

Description: This relatively large fish is an important predatory fish rarely found south of Cook Strait, preferring the warmer waters of the north. It can form schools of up to several hundred but is mainly caught as a non-target catch of inshore set net, trawl and longline fisheries. Kingfish is a commonly sought after recreational fish.

Ecological concerns: The loss of large individual fish, the unknown sustainability of the combined commercial and recreational catch limits, uncertainty about the stock structure, the absence of biomass and yield estimates, the absence of a quantitative stock assessment, limited research and the lack of a management plan. Some fishing methods cause damage to the seabed and have high fish bycatch.

Economic value: About 25% of kingfish is exported (under $0.5m) to the USA and Australia with the rest going to the domestic New Zealand market.

Best option: Line caught kingfish.



Biology and risk of overfishing (score C)
Status and sustainability of fish catches (score D)
Impact of fishing method and protected, threatened and endangered species captures (score D and B)
Management and management unit (score D and C)

For a full ecological assessment click here