Fisheries

MPI reports on the status of fish stocks and fisheries in New Zealand waters.


Each year, MPI assesses the status of as many fish stocks and fisheries as possible against the requirements of the Harvest Strategy Standard for New Zealand Fisheries.

In 2015, there was sufficient information to report on the status of up to 183 stocks or sub-stocks out of a total of 377 significant stocks managed under New Zealand’s Quota Management System. These stocks make up the majority of commercial landings.

More information:


Key findings of the current report

Of 157 stocks or sub-stocks with known status relative to the soft limit (the lower bound on the desirable population size), 130 (82.8%) have been determined to be above the soft limit (i.e. not overfished) based on a recent assessment or evaluation. In terms of tonnage of landings, 96.8% of stocks of known status were above the soft limit in 2015.

In 2015, 27 stocks were considered to be overfished (below the soft limit):

  • southern bluefin tuna, Pacific bluefin tuna and bigeye tuna (highly migratory species that are present seasonally in New Zealand waters),
  • 3 stocks of black cardinalfish,
  • 5 stocks of bluenose,
  • 4 stocks or sub-stocks of orange roughy,
  • 3 stocks or sub-stocks of snapper,
  • 2 stocks or sub-stocks of John dory,
  • 2 stocks or sub-stocks of scallops, and
  • one stock or sub-stock each of flatfish, oyster, paua, pipi and freshwater eels.

Rebuilding programmes or Total Allowable Catch (TAC)/TACC reductions are in place in these fisheries to allow them to rebuild to target levels.

Read detailed stock status information for individual stocks

Aquatic Environment & Biodiversity Annual Review

Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review 2015

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 172 Genetic Connectivity Amongst New Zealand’s Open Sandy Shore and Estuarine Coastal Taxa

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 173 Taking Stock: Oral histories about changes in marine fauna observed locally in the Hauraki Gulf and along the Otago-Catlins coast, New Zealand, 1926–2008

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 171 Top-down effects on rocky reef ecosystems in north-eastern New Zealand: a historic and qualitative modeling approach

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 170 Taking Stock – the changes to New Zealand marine ecosystems since first human settlement: synthesis of major findings, and policy and management implications

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 169 Summary of the capture of seabirds, marine mammals, and turtles in New Zealand commercial fisheries, 2002–03 to 2012–13

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 168 Abundance and distribution of WCSI Hector’s dolphin

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 167 - Incidental capture of marine mammals in New Zealand trawl fisheries, 1995-96 to 2011-12

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 166 - Quantitative Risk Assessment of Threats to New Zealand Sea Lions

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 165 - 2014 demographic assessment of the Snares Islands population of Southern Buller’s albatross (Diomedea bulleri bulleri)

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 164 - Testing techniques for tracing the provenance of green-lipped mussel spat washed up on Ninety Mile Beach

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 159 Nitrogen Levels and Adverse Marine Ecological Effects from Aquaculture

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 162 Assessment of the risk of commercial fisheries to New Zealand seabirds, 2006-07 to 2012-13: Supplementary information

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 162 Assessment of the risk of commercial fisheries to New Zealand seabirds, 2006-07 to 2012-13

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 163 Fish and invertebrate bycatch and discards in New Zealand hoki, hake, or ling trawl fisheries from 1990-91 until 2012-13

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 158 Fish and invertebrate bycatch in New Zealand deepwater fisheries from 1990–91 until 2012–13

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 160 Changes to the food-web of the Hauraki Gulf during the period of human occupation: a mass-balance model approach

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 156 Geographic distribution of commercial catches of cartilaginous fishes in New Zealand waters, 2008−13

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 155 Developing spatial management options for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the South Pacific Ocean region

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 154 Comparison of bycatch estimation for fish species using a ratio estimator and model-based method

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 161 Overlap of the distribution of black petrel (Procellaria parkinsoni) with New Zealand trawl and longline fisheries

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 157 Qualitative (Level 1) Risk Assessment of the impact of commercial fishing on New Zealand Chondrichthyans

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review 2014

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review 2013

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review 2012

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review 2011: A summary of environmental interactions between fisheries and the aquatic environment

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 153 Ross Sea and Balleny Islands biodiversity: routine observations and opportunistic sampling of biota made during a geophysical survey to the Ross Sea in 2006

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 152 Fisheries risks to the population viability of Gibson’s wandering albatross Diomedea gibsoni

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 151 Reporting on the state of the New Zealand marine environment: recommendations for ocean indicators as part of the Atmospheric and Ocean Climate Change Tier 1 Statistic

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 150 Habitats of particular significance for fisheries management: identification of threats and stressors to rig nursery areas

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 145 Reported New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri) captures in commercial trawl fisheries, 1991–92 to 2012–13

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 149 Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems of the Louisville Seamount Chain: voyage report of a survey to evaluate the efficacy of preliminary habitat suitability models

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 148 Mitigation options for shark bycatch in longline fisheries

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 147 Development of a Tier 1 National Reporting Statistic for New Zealand’s Marine Biodiversity

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 146 Factors affecting the distribution of highly migratory species in New Zealand waters

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 144 Benthic habitat classes and trawl fishing disturbance in New Zealand waters shallower than 250 m

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 143 Designing a programme to monitor trends in deep-water benthic communities

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 142 Monitoring New Zealand’s trawl footprint for deepwater fisheries: 1989–1990 to 2010–2011

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 141 Development of a National Marine Environment Monitoring Programme (MEMP) for New Zealand

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 140 Forecasting quantity of displaced fishing Part 1: Challenger scallop fishery

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 139 Fish and invertebrate bycatch in New Zealand deepwater fisheries from 1990–91 until 2011–12

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 138 Fish and invertebrate bycatch and discards in New Zealand ling longline fisheries from 1992–93 until 2011–12

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 137 Seagrass Meadows as Biodiversity and Productivity Hotspots

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 135 Review of the biodiversity component of the New Zealand Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem Evidence Process

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 134 Fishes of the Ross Sea region. A field guide to common species caught in the longline fishery

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 133 Distributions of water mass, water quality and sea ice during the New Zealand IPY-CAML survey of the Ross Sea

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 132 Pennatulaces (Sea Pens) descriptions for the New Zealand region

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 131 Antipatharia (Black Corals) for the New Zealand region

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 130 Linking marine fisheries species to biogenic habitats in New Zealand: a review and synthesis of knowledge

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 129 Habitats of particular significance for fisheries management: the Kaipara Harbour

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 128 Continuous Plankton Recorder sampling between New Zealand and the Ross Sea

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 127 Ecosystem and Environmental Indicators for Deepwater Fisheries

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 126 Assessing the potential of multibeam echosounder data for predicting benthic invertebrate assemblages

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 125 Habitats and areas of particular significance for coastal finfish fisheries management in New Zealand: A review of concepts and life history knowledge, and suggestions for future research

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 124 History of, and trends in, the commercial landings of finfish from the Hauraki Gulf, 1850−2006

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 123S Abundance and distribution of ECSI Hector’s dolphin – Supplementary material

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 123 Abundance and distribution of ECSI Hector’s dolphin

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 122 Analysis of New Zealand’s Trawl Grounds for Key Middle depths and Deepwater Tier 1 Fisheries

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 121 Environmental preferences of seabirds and spatial distribution of seabirds and marine mammals in the Ross Sea area

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 120 Developing predictive models for the distribution of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the South Pacific Ocean region

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 119 New Zealand marine mammals and commercial fisheries

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 118 Bottom disturbance and seafloor community dynamics: Development of a model of disturbance and recovery dynamics for marine benthic ecosystems

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 117 The potential impact of ocean acidification on deep-sea corals and fisheries habitat in New Zealand waters

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 116 Evaluation of the diets of highly migratory species in New Zealand waters

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 115 Biodiversity of macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages of the Balleny Islands seamounts

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 114 Review of factors affecting the abundance of toheroa (Paphies ventricosa)

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 112 Fish and invertebrate bycatch and discards in New Zealand arrow squid fisheries from 1990–91 until 2010–11

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 113 Fish and invertebrate bycatch in New Zealand deepwater fisheries from 1990–91 until 2010–11

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 102 Review of research and monitoring studies on New Zealand sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras, 2008−2012

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 111 Monitoring change in benthic communities in Spirits Bay

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 110 Monitoring New Zealand's trawl footprint for deepwater fisheries: 1989-90 to 2009-10

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 108 Application of Potential Biological Removal methods to seabird populations

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 109S Risk of commercial fisheries to New Zealand seabird populations. Supplementary information

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 109 Risk of commercial fisheries to New Zealand seabird populations

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 107 Review of anthropogenic impacts other than fishing on cartilaginous fishes

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 106 An initial development of spatially explicit population models of benthic impacts to inform Ecological Risk Assessments in New Zealand deepwater fisheries

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 105 Marine mammal bycatch in New Zealand trawl fisheries, 1995–96 to 2010–11

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 104 Fisheries Risks to the Population Viability of White-capped Albatross Thalassarche steadi

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 103 Productivity of two species of deepwater sharks, Deania calcea and Centrophorus squamosus in New Zealand

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 101 Biodiversity of macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages of the northwestern Ross Sea shelf

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 100 Fish and invertebrate bycatch and discards in New Zealand scampi fisheries from 1990–91 until 2009–10

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 99 Rhodolith Beds in Northern New Zealand: Characterisation of Associated Biodiversity and Vulnerability to Environmental Stressors

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 98 Review of necropsy records for bycaught NZ sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri), 2000 – 2008

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 97 Chatham-Challenger Ocean Survey 20/20 Post Voyage analyses: Objective 9 – Patterns in Species Composition

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 96 A Review of the Marine Soft-Sediment Assemblages of New Zealand

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)

AEBR 95 Rig nursery grounds in New Zealand: a review and survey

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Report - Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity (AEBR)
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