Trevally: Quick Facts

Scientific name: Pseudocaranx dentex

Other names: araara, kopapa, komutumutu, raumarie (Maori), blue gill, jack fish, silver trevally (Australia / UK), carangue (France), Minamishimaaji (Japan).

Ranking: D (Amber - Concerns)

Best Fish Guide: Trevally

 Ranking: D (Amber - Concerns)


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Alternative Choice: Best option, no alternative

NZ Top Chef Nadia Lim's Trevally Cerviche

Description: Trevally is a long-lived species (up to 45 years) that lives near the seabed when young, but schools as adults in the open water, where they feed on krill and other plankton. It is common around many parts of the North Island and the top half of the south Island and most abundant at depths of around 80m. It is caught year round, mainly around the North Island in conjunction with the snapper trawl fishery. It is also caught by purse seiners in the Bay of Plenty and in set nets.


Ecological concerns: The over-catch of Trevally off the east coast of the North Island, the absence of a quantitative stock assessment, the uncertainty of the stock status and the lack of a management plan.  

Trawling catches non-target fish and, when fished at the bottom or using bottom trawl gear, may cause considerable damage to seabed habitats and ecosystems. The fishery may also risk captures of critically endangered Maui’s dolphins off the west coast of the North Island. Restrictions on trawling and set netting introduced in May 2008 have reduced the risk of catching these dolphins. However, dolphins outside closed areas are still at risk and a pending court ruling, the risk of catching these dolphins may once again increase.

Economic value: The main markets for Trevally are in New Zealand, Japan, UK and the Middle East. It had an export value of $3.2 million in 2008.

Best option: Trevally caught of western New Zealand appear healthier, but avoid fish caught using bottom trawl or set net. Purse seine caught trevally is the best option.



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

For a full ecological assessment, click here