Rhabdosargus Sarba
Tarwhine - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Rhabdosargus Sarba
Other names Goldlined Seabream, Silver Bream
Size Up to 60 cm (23.6 in)
Weight Up to 2 kg (4.4 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, estuaries, beaches, sandy reef areas, bays & deeper channels
Depth Range
Tarwhine Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Tarwhine like most bream are a schooling fish, found in a range of marine water habitats – brackish water estuaries to deep marine waters as they mature.
  • They have a large range including the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, South Africa, parts of Asia down to Australia on the eastern and western coasts.
  • Tarwhine are often confused with black and yellowfin bream. The distinguishing difference of Tarwhine are yellow or gold lines on a silver body along with a more rounded head.
  • Tarwhine are omnivores, feeding on crabs, prawns, worms, smaller fish, mussels & aquatic macrophytes.
  • Estimated lifespan of Tarwhine average between 8 to 10 years, but up to 15 years. They mature at around 2 to 3 years of age.
  • Like most sparidae species, they are a protandrous hermaphrodite, changing sex from male to female
  • The main predators of tarwhine include sharks and larger predatory fish.
Species Interaction

Commercial & Recreational Fishing

Tarwhine are a popular recreational fish for all levels of anglers. They can be caught from shore or boat and are abundant throughout eastern and western Australia coastlines. They have a minimal commercial relevance but are targeted via nets in certain parts of south west Australia.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Sparidae

Genus: Rhabdosargus

Species: Rhabdosargus sarba

Conservation Status

Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Tarwhine are currently categorised as “Least Concern”(LC).

LC is the lowest category on the scale for risk with “Extinct”(EX) being the highest.

Fish Taste Quality

Tarwhine are a great table fish when eaten fresh. Great cooked as fillets or whole.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Worms, Yabbies, Soft plastics

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

Popularity: Popular

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner reef, Seagrass beds

Danger: None