Our industry is internationally respected for an innovative and world-leading approach to sustainable science-based fisheries and aquaculture management.

Our fisheries are performing well - 97% of fish stocks known status are healthy according to Ministry for Primary Industries research.

Quota Management System

We have a world-leading Quota Management System (QMS) that ensures the sustainability of our fish stocks through the control of harvest levels for each species and area.

There are 98 species in 642 areas managed under the QMS in New Zealand. 

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) reviews, usually annually, the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for fish stocks and sets limits so that enough fish remain for breeding.

Protecting the environment

Our footprint is very light. Annually, New Zealand fishes only 1-2 % of the EEZ to produce around 600,000 metric tonnes of sustainable seafood. 

There are 44 marine reserves in New Zealand's territorial waters.

More than 90% of New Zealand's seabed is untouched by trawlers.

In April 2007, in response to a fishing industry proposal, the Government closed 17 areas within New Zealand's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to bottom trawling. These Benthic Protection Areas comprise over 1.2m square kilometres of seabed - an area equal to about 30% of the EEZ - more than four times New Zealand itself.

International recognition

In 2001 hoki was the first fishery in New Zealand to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification - the gold star in international certification rewarding sustainable seafood practices.

Since then hoki has been certified three times as well as albacore tuna and southern blue whiting.

In addition, in 2014 three of New Zealand's orange roughy fisheries entered the lengthy and rigorous MSC assessment process for certification.  Orange Roughy is now in the final stages of the assessment. 

50% of New Zealand's wild seafood harvest is MSC certified. 

MSC's vision is for the world's oceans to be teeming with life, today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

New Zealand's aquaculture industry is building further on its sustainability credentials with the launch of A+, the new standard of sustainable aquaculture.


The fisheries management systems, designed to protect the sustainability of our resources, is recognised as among the best in the world.