Polyprion Oxygeneois
Hapuku - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Polyprion Oxygeneois
Other names Blue Cod, Deepwater Rock Cod, Grouper, Hapuka, New Zealand Groper, Whapuku
Size Up to 1.8 m (5.9 ft)
Weight Up to 100 kg (220 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal & deep ocean waters amongst seamounts, reefs & canyons
Depth Range 50 - 500 m (1,640 ft)
Hapuku Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Hapuku is a large predatory fish found in the waters of southern Australia, particularly in the southern coast of New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania.
  • Hapuku has a broad, angular head and a large mouth with sharp teeth. The fish has an olive-green to brownish-grey colour on the upper body and a white belly.
  • Hapuku is an opportunistic feeder and will consume a variety of prey, including fish, squid, crustaceans, and octopus.
  • It is a slow-growing species that can take up to 10 years to reach sexual maturity.
  • Hapuku is a solitary species and does not form large schools. They are also a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning it can change from female to male during its lifespan.
  • The breeding season for Hapuku occurs during the winter months, from June to August, when the fish move into shallower waters to spawn. Females produce large, buoyant eggs that hatch into pelagic larvae, which drift with ocean currents before settling to the sea floor.
  • They are a long-lived species, known to live up to 50 years.
Species Interaction

Commercial & Recreational Fishing

The Hapuku is a prized recreational fish species due to its large size, challenging fight, and delicious flesh. It is also Commercially fished using longline, trawl, or pot fishing methods, which can vary depending on the fishing location and regulations.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Polyprionidae

Genus: Polyprion

Species: Polyprion Oxygeneois

Conservation Status

Hapuku are not currently listed as a threatened species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). However, the fish is subject to various state and federal regulations aimed at promoting sustainable fishing practices and protecting the species.

Fish Taste Quality

Hapuku is a highly regarded food fish and is known for its firm, white flesh, which is delicate and flavourful. The fish has a mild, slightly sweet taste and a texture that is moist, flaky, and tender when cooked properly.

Taste Rating: 5/5

How to catch

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Running Sinker Rig, Ganged Hook Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Fresh cut flesh baits, Lures, Bait jig, Octopus, Pilchards, Squid, Soft plastics, Live minnow

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom, Keep bait close to the reef/structure, Trolling

Popularity: Highly Targeted

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