Carassius auratus

Pest goldfish

Family: Cyprinidae

Origin: East asia

An image of a goldfish in an aquarium.
Goldfish vary in colour from olive-green, red-gold to bronze-black.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Aotea — Exclusion
  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Small-medium sized (100-400 g) fish, colour varies from red-gold, bronze-black to olive-green.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not release any goldfish from containment within the Auckland region.


Benthic habitat, lakes, streams, ponds, creeks, slow-moving waterbodies.

Impact on environment

Eats aquatic plants, algae, insects, crustaceans, small fish and fish eggs, competes with native fish. May contribute to poor water clarity and algal blooms by uprooting plants, re-suspending sediments and eating zooplankton.



If you have goldfish as pets or in an outdoor pond, make sure they’re securely contained so they don’t get washed away into other waterbodies in a flood. If you are no longer able to look after your pet fish, find someone who is prepared to give it a lifetime home, or return it to a pet shop for rehoming.

Never release pet fish into waterways. Check equipment and vessels for freshwater pests, clean everything that has been in contact with the water and dry everything thoroughly.

For more information about pest goldfish and how to manage them, please contact Auckland Council at