Southern Garfish
(Hyporhamphus melanochir)

South Australia is responsible for nearly 70% of the national catch of gar.

Southern Sea Garfish (Hyporhamphus melanochir) are distributed from Shark Bay in Western Australia, along the southern coast of Australia including Tasmanian waters, and as far east as Eden in New South Wales. The species forms schools in sheltered bays and shallow, inshore, marine waters to depths of ~20 m. They are particularly abundant throughout the gulf regions of South Australia.

Southern Garfish have an extended spawning season that spans approximately six months from October to March. Within this season only a small proportion (10–20%) of the population are in spawning condition at any given time indicating that reproductive activity is asynchronous with small pulses of spawning activity. The estimated size at maturity (L50%) for female Southern Garfish in South Australia is 215 mm TL, which is equivalent to the mean age of 17.5 months.

Source:  Assessment of the South Australian Marine Scalefish Fishery in 2018.  Report by PIRSA


Typically, Southern Garfish is found in the seagrass and weed of sheltered bays. Northern Spencer and Gulf St Vincent are the key producing regions during peak supply.


South Australia West Coast – Sustainable
North Gulf St. Vincent – Depleted
Southern Gulf St. Vincent – Sustainable
Southern Spender Gulf – Sustainable
Northern Spencer Gulf – Recovering
South-East – Sustainable

Source:  FRDC


Traditionally, this schooling species exhibits biannual availability with production peaking during both Summer and Winter. Key months include January and February and June and July, with September the lowest. This fast growing prevalent species ensures consistent production.

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