Southern Blue Whiting (SBW)

Southern blue whiting fisheries are sustainably managed - click here
SBW 6B & SBW 6I are certified sustainable under Marine Stewardship Council's programme - click here.
To view the supporting documents for the most recent MSC assessment - click here.

Most of the southern blue whiting catch comes from the Bounty Platform and Campbell Island Rise given the large numbers there. They are harvested mainly by mid-water and semi-pelagic trawl.

In 2012 New Zealand southern blue whiting were the first blue whiting fisheries in the world to gain Marine Stewardship Council certification, the ‘gold standard’ for sustainable fisheries performance. The two certified fisheries (SBW 6B & SBW 6I) represent 99% of New Zealand's southern blue whiting catch.

Common Name

Southern Blue Whiting

Scientific Name

Micromesistius australis

Ministry Code


Quick Facts

  • Trawl fishery (found 250-600m)
  • Managed as five fish stocks: Auckland Islands (SBW 6A), Bounty Platform (SBW 6B), Campbell Island Rise (SBW 6I), Pukaki Rise (SBW 6R) and the rest of New Zealand’s EEZ (SBW 1)
  • DWG represents each stock and 88% of the total quota
  • Schooling fish living near the seabed and moving up the water column at night to feed on plankton and small fish
  • Breed around 3-4 years, fast-growing, and live to 22 years
  • Certified sustainable by the internationally-recognised Marine Stewardship Council since 2012
  • White delicate flesh, low fat and flakes easily