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Commercial fishers landing exception: Pacific bluefin tuna

Background to exceptions

Under the Fisheries Act 1996, commercial fishers are prohibited from returning or abandoning to the sea, or other waters, any fish or shellfish that are subject to the Quota Management System (QMS). However, the Act allows for exceptions to the rule.

See section 72A(2) of the Fisheries Act 1996 – NZ Legislation

Have your say

Fisheries New Zealand is assessing whether a commercial landing exception should be provided for Pacific bluefin tuna. The proposed exception would allow commercial fishers to return Pacific bluefin tuna to the sea if the fish is likely to survive.

Pacific bluefin tuna are known to be a relatively robust fish, and have been estimated to have a high likelihood of post-release survival when caught and returned alive by surface longline and troll. Therefore, Fisheries New Zealand is proposing that an exception is provided for, which would allow commercial fishers to return live Pacific bluefin tuna that is caught with surface longline and troll.

We’d like your feedback on this proposal. Consultation is open from 8 January to 9 February 2024.

Consultation document

Commercial landing exception: Pacific bluefin tuna [PDF, 511 KB]

Related documents

Commercial landing exception reviews: Operational guidelines [PDF, 386 KB]

Commercial landing exceptions: Policy context and legal overview [PDF, 358 KB]

Making your submission

Email your feedback by 5pm on 9 February 2024 to

A template is available to help you complete your submission. It includes questions you may like to answer to help you with your submission, and further space for any other feedback.

Submissions template [DOCX, 86 KB]

While we prefer email, you can post written submissions to:

Fisheries Management – National Direction
Fisheries New Zealand
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

What to include

Make sure you tell us in your submission:

  • your name and title
  • your organisation's name (if you are submitting on behalf of an organisation)
  • your contact details (such as phone number, address, and email).