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Merluccius australis:   (click for more)

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  • Merluccius gayi  , (nec Guichenot, 1848):Cunningham, 1871.
  • Merluccius polylepis  Ginsburg, 1954
  • Merluccius gayi australis  Mann, 1954
  • Merluccius gayi hubbsi  Mann, 1954
  • Merluccius gayi polylepis  Angelescu et al, 1958
    FAO Names
    En - Southern hake, Fr - Merlu austral, Sp - Merluza austral.
    3Alpha Code: HKN     Taxonomic Code: 1480500403
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Gadus australis  Hutton, 1872, Fish.New Zeal.:45 (Cook Strait of New Zealand).
    Diagnostic Features
    Body more slender than that of other hakes. Head short, 24.9 to 28.3% of standard length. Measurements in relation to head length: snout 33.2 to 39.0%; interorbital space 24.7 to 30.4%; upper jaw 48.2 to 55.9%;  gillrakers short and thick with blunt tips, total number on first arch 11 to 15 (mostly 12 to 14).  First dorsal fin with 1 spine and 9 to 12 rays; second dorsal fin with 39 to 45 rays; anal fin with 40 to 46 rays; pectoral fins long and slender, but their tips not reaching origin of anal fin in fishes larger than 50 cm standard length; caudal fin margin usually truncate, but sometimes convex in small fishes.  Scales small, 144 to 171 along lateral line. Total number of vertebrae 53 to 58.  Colour: steel grey on back, lighter on sides and silvery white on belly. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Two distinct geographical populations are recognized, one from New Zealand (New Zealand population) and the other from southern South America (Patagonian population). The New Zealand population occurs around Chatham Rise, Campbell Plateau and South Island northward to the East Cape. The Patagonian population extends from 40°S (Chiloe Island) in the Pacific, southward around the southern tip of South America, to the continental shelf north to 49°S and the slope north to 38°S in the Atlantic.
    Habitat and Biology
    Found in depths between 415 and 1 000 m (bottom temperatures of 5.8 to 8.0°C) in New Zealand waters, and 62 to 800 m (bottom temperatures 3.8 to 9.0°C) in South American waters.The adults probably migrate southward during the southern summer for feeding,
    and return to the north in winter for spawning. Off the Patagonian shelf south of 47°S, spawning extends from May to August.  First maturity is reached around 65 cm length for males and 85 cm for females. The ratio of females is much higher than that of males.Adults feed on southern blue whiting, whiptail, nototheniids and squids.
    The New Zealand population spawns from July to August off the west coast of South Island at depths between 800 and 1 000 m, and feeds mainly on fishes (especially gadoids), squids, euphausiids and benthic organisms. 
    Maximum recorded length: 126 cm; common from 60 to 1.00 cm in both populations.
    Interest to Fisheries
    The two populations of this species are reported separately under different species names (M. polylepis) for the Patagonian population in the FAO Yearbook of Fisheries Statistics. The New Zealand population is exploited at present (111 301 t in 1987), but its biomass has been estimated at 64 000 t. The Patagonian population has been fished for the last 25 years, especially by Argentina and Chile (110 941 t in 1987). The standing stock of the Patagonian population is estimated at 115 to 127.400 t between 40°S and 57°S off the southern Chile and between 670 and 210 000 t off Argentina. Caught with trawls. Most common fishing techniques are "demersal bottom trawling", "midwater otter trawling" and "Hake trawling".
    Marketed fresh, frozen, and as fishmeal.The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 47 560 t. The countries with the largest catches were Chile (24 656 t) and New Zealand of (15 499 t).
    Local Names
    ARGENTINA : Maltona ,  Merluza austral ,  Merluza del sur ,  Merluza española ,  Pescada de los canales .
    CHILE : Maltona ,  Merluza austral ,  Merluza del sur ,  Merluza española ,  Pescada de los canales .
    NEWZEALAND : Haddock ,  Hake .
    Source of Information
    FAO species catalogue. Vol.10. Gadiform Fishes of the world (Order Gadiformes). An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Cods, Hakes, Grenadiers and other Gadiform Fishes Known to Date.Daniel M.Cohen Tadashi Inada Tomio Iwamoto Nadia Scialabba 1990.  FAO Fisheries Synopsis. No. 125, Vol.10. Rome, FAO. 1990. 442p.
    Inada, (1981a)
    Norman, (1937)
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