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

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