By: Christopher Cookson
Blue cod, rāwaru, pākirikiri, (Parapercis colias) are a popular recreational and commercial fish endemic to New Zealand waters, particularly around Cook Strait and the Marlborough Sounds. Blue cod can live over 30 years, and reach sizes up to 60cm.
In 2017, Plant and Food Research successfully bred blue cod in captivity for the first time, raising 2000 hatchlings, opening up the possibility of commercial farming of one of New Zealand's most popular fish species.
To protect the blue cod fishery, the Marlborough Sounds are closed for blue cod fishing between 1 September and 20th of December, and there are also a number of marine reserves within the Marlborough Sounds that are permanently closed to fishing. (See the link at the bottom of this article for current official rules and bag limits).