New Zealand fisheries highly sustainable, Government assessment finds

11 April 2022, Seafood New Zealand

Deepwater Group - image of orange roughy
Orange roughy (image CSIRO)

Government research continues to show that New Zealand’s fisheries are highly sustainable and fish stocks are healthy, with 94% of the catch coming from stocks with no sustainability risks.

The remaining stocks have formal plans in place to increase fish numbers and rebuild the stocks through the use of the Quota Management System (QMS).

Each year, Fisheries New Zealand assesses the status of fish stocks using scientific research, validated catch and fishing effort reports from commercial fisheries, and data from their onboard observer programme. 

Status of New Zealand's fish stocks - (infographic Fisheries New Zealand)

Success stories highlighted in the most recent report include news that two Chatham Rise orange roughy sub-stocks were re-assessed in 2018 (with one also being reassessed in 2020) and found to be performing well. The Challenger orange roughy stock was also shown to be performing well when it was re-assessed in 2019. 

In addition, the assessment indicates strong performance for eastern stocks of hoki, both hake stocks, five ling stocks, three pāua stocks, and one scampi stock (with another three performing near or above favourable levels). 

A summary of the report, infographics, and information about the QMS is available from the Ministry for Primary industries website: