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Future of our Fisheries


This consultation has closed

18 June 2021

Hon. David Parker, Minister for Oceans and Fisheries announced decisions on landings and discards, offences and penalties, and agile decision-making.

Read the announcement here

24 July 2018

Submissions on the IEMRS consultation document are available to download.

30 May 2017

The Regulatory Impact Statement on EITT (Enabling Innovative Trawl Technologies) was released.

29 May 2017

The Regulatory Impact Statement on IEMRS (Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System) was released.

24 April 2017

Cabinet approval

Cabinet has approved the recommendations in a paper seeking approval for regulations allowing IEMRS (Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System) and EITT (Enabling Innovative Trawl Technologies).

Quick summary

We want your feedback about the Future of our Fisheries programme to make sure we're on the right track. The programme is about getting the maximum value from our fisheries by getting better information faster and improving our decision-making processes. Plus we want to bring in regulations:

  • on electronic reporting and monitoring of commercial fishing activities
  • to enable the development of innovative trawl technologies.

We've broken the consultation into 3 parts to make it easier for you to give feedback:

  • Fisheries Management System Review
  • Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System regulations (IEMRS)
  • Enabling Innovative Trawl Technology (EITT) regulations

More information and everything you need to know about making a submission on one or all the proposals is on this web page. The consultation runs from 11 November 2016 to 23 December 2016 and will include a series of public meetings and hui.

Future of our Fisheries

MPI has been developing the Future of our Fisheries programme to ensure we have sustainable, shared fisheries now and in the future.

This programme incorporates 3 projects:

  • Fisheries Management System Review: This project considers fisheries information needs, decision-making and value-add opportunities.
  • Proposed regulatory change for the Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS): This project outlines proposed regulatory options to implement electronic catch reporting, vessel location information and cameras on all of New Zealand's commercial fishing fleet.
  • Proposed regulatory change for Enabling Innovative Trawl Technology (EITT): This project outlines proposed regulatory change options to implement trawling innovations that can improve fish stock sustainability, improve environmental performance and improve economic benefits.

How the programme was developed

MPI developed the Future of our Fisheries programme after talking with tangata whenua, sector groups, key stakeholders and the wider public in late 2015 as part of a Fisheries Management System Review.

We also drew on other major pieces of work already underway, including the:

  • Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge
  • Marine Protected Areas encompassing recreational fishing parks
  • first principles cost recovery review.

Other matters that helped us develop the programme included the findings of the independent Heron Report released in September 2016.

Download the Future of our Fisheries overview [PDF, 8.6 MB]

Proposals and consultation documents

1. Fisheries Management System Review

Three strategic proposals have been developed that we would like your feedback on. They are:

  • Maximising value from our fisheries: This proposal outlines options for valuing our marine ecosystems and fish resources to optimise sustainable resource use.
  • Better fisheries information: This proposal outlines options for identifying and capturing more information in near-real time and ensuring consistency.
  • Agile and responsive decision-making: This proposal outlines options for ensuring fisheries system decisions are well informed, responsive to need, and reflect risk.

Download the Fisheries Management System Review consultation document [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Note, if you're making a submission only on the strategic priorities identified in the Fisheries Management System Review, put "review only" in the subject line of your submission.

2. Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS)

The Future of our Fisheries programme includes 2 related regulatory change proposals. One of these proposals is IEMRS. The purpose of IEMRS is to provide accurate, integrated and timely reporting and monitoring data on commercial fishing activity to inform decisions of fisheries managers in government and the commercial sector.

Under IEMRS, MPI proposes that all permit holders will be required to:

  • complete event-based electronic catch reporting in near-real time (electronic reporting – ER)
  • provide automated geospatial position reporting (GPR) of the locations of fishing events (this will include some land-based operations, for example, eel fishing)
  • operate automated cameras (electronic monitoring – EM) on fishing vessels.

The options being considered in this consultation include:

  • maintain the current state
  • electronic reporting and automated geospatial position reporting by all commercial fishing permit holders from 1 October 2017
  • electronic reporting and geospatial position reporting for all permit holders from 1 October 2017 and introduction of electronic monitoring in stages from 1 October 2018 (MPI's preferred option).

Download the IEMRS consultation document [PDF, 2.8 MB]

Note, if you're making a submission only on IEMRS, put "IEMRS only" in the subject line of your submission.

3. Enabling Innovative Trawl Technology (EITT)

The second proposed regulatory change discussed as part of this consultation is to amend regulations relating to trawl net restrictions to create a regime that enables the use of innovative trawl technologies. Primary factors driving innovation include reducing the bycatch of undersized fish, reducing the quantity of unwanted fish, and enabling fishers to derive maximum benefit from their catch by improving catch quality.

Existing commercial fishing regulations relating to the use of trawl nets are quite prescriptive. This means that they prevent the commercial use of innovative trawl technologies that breach the current regulatory requirements for trawl nets.

Although existing regulations provide the benchmark, there is room for improvement for gear performance. An amended regime is needed that is responsive to ongoing changes in technology without compromising the enforceability, effectiveness, and intent of the current regime (that is, limiting the impact of trawl nets on fish, other aquatic life, and the seabed).

MPI has considered 4 options for this change. The options are:

  • maintain current regulations and do not consider use of non-regulatory provisions (current state)
  • maintain current regulations and consider use of non-regulatory provisions
  • amend existing regulations to enable the commercial use of approved, innovative trawl gear (MPI's preferred option)
  • amend regulations to deregulate the use of trawl gear.

Download the EITT consultation document [PDF, 1.8 MB]

Note, if you're making a submission only on EITT, put "EITT only" in the subject line of your submission.

Public meetings and hui

The Future of our Fisheries consultation begins 11 November and ends 23 December 2016.

Public consultation meetings, hui and workshops on the proposals will be held in November and December 2016.

The meetings and hui are a chance to hear more about the proposals in the consultation documents and supporting technical documents. Importantly, they also provide an opportunity for you to put your views forward. The feedback from the meetings and hui will be captured and analysed along with formal submissions.

Download the meeting presentation slides [PDF, 1.7 MB]

City Date and time Venue
Nelson Monday 21 November
5pm – 7pm
Rutherford Hotel
237 Nile Street West
Auckland Tuesday 22 November
5pm – 7pm
Bucklands Beach Yacht Club
Ara-tai, Half Moon Bay
Dunedin Wednesday 23 November
5pm – 7pm
Dunedin Centre
1 Harrop Street
Christchurch Thursday 24 November
5pm – 7pm

Christchurch Airforce Museum
45 Harvard Ave

Tauranga Thursday 24 November
5pm – 7pm
Tauranga Yacht and Powerboat Club
90 Keith Allen Drive
Wellington Tuesday 29 November
5pm – 7pm
Te Wharewaka
2 Taranaki Street
Napier Wednesday 30 November
5pm – 7pm
Napier Sailing Club
63 West Quay
Auckland (Westhaven) Thursday 1 December
5pm – 7pm
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
181 Westhaven Drive
Westhaven Marina
Tairua Tuesday 6 December
5pm – 7pm

Tairua Pauanui Sports Fishing Club
11 Tui Terrace

Greymouth Wednesday 7 December
5pm - 7pm

Kingsgate Hotel
32 Mawhera Quay

Chatham Islands Thursday 8 December
5pm – 7pm
The Den
The Chatham Islands
New Plymouth Monday 12 December
5pm – 7pm
Copthorne Hotel, Grand Central
42 Powderham Street
New Plymouth
Whangarei Wednesday 14 December
5pm – 7pm
Forum North
7 Rust Ave
Invercargill Thursday 15 December
5pm – 7pm
Ascot Park Hotel
Corner Tay Street & Racecourse Road
Gisborne Tuesday 20 December
5pm – 7pm
Tatapouri Sports Fishing Club
Number 2 Wharf Shed
54 Esplanade

Making your submission

You can make a submission on one or all 3 of the consultation documents by email, letter, or using our submission form which is available as a dynamic PDF and in Word. We must get your feedback by 5pm on 23 December 2016.

Using the submission form

The questions in the submission form are designed to stimulate your thinking and help us report back clearly on people's feedback. The form can be downloaded as a Word document or as a dynamic PDF.  Save the submission form locally (onto your computer) in the format you prefer and complete. We suggest that you check your completed submission form before emailing it to us to confirm all your answers have been captured. You can send us a copy of the completed form by email. Alternatively, you can hand write your answers on the form and then either scan and email your completed form or mail it to us.

Sending us your feedback

Email your submissions to

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • the title of the consultation document in the subject line of your email. Specify what proposals your submission covers – IEMRS, EITT or the review.
  • your name and title (if applicable)
  • your organisation's name (if applicable)
  • your address.

While we prefer email, you can also send your submission by post to:

Future of our Fisheries
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

Submissions are public information

Any submission you make becomes public information. Anyone can ask for copies of all submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the information available unless we have a good reason for withholding it. You can find those grounds in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA. Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include, it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require the information be released.

Background to consultation

In 2015, MPI initiated a fisheries management system review to ensure the fisheries management system is future focused and able to provide for a sustainable fisheries resource for all of New Zealand.

In recognition of the foundations of the fisheries management system, the following elements are considered out of scope for the review:

  • the purpose of the Fisheries Act (to provide for the utilisation of fisheries resources while ensuring sustainability)
  • the Crown's obligations under Treaty settlements and the rights and interests of tangata whenua, including customary management
  • the right to fish for recreation
  • the key Quota Management Sysytem (QMS) tools, including the rights associated with ownership of quota.

Public engagement to support the review ran from October through to December 2015. It included 20 meetings with iwi and stakeholder groups, public drop-in sessions held in 11 towns and cities across the country and web-based explanatory material and an online tool for public comment.

The responses indicated that while the fisheries management system is inherently sound it can be improved in a number of areas. Specifically, we heard that:

  • There is broad support for the QMS: In particular its role within the fisheries management system over the last 30 years. Although the support was strongest in the commercial sector, other sectors also confirmed the merits of the QMS approach. Some respondents, however, considered that the QMS may limit more collaborative and effective management.
  • There is scope for improvement: Within the fisheries system, the proposed improvements were generally in 2 areas: strengthening regulatory and incentive structures and developing a broader approach, such as broader ecosystem considerations, to meet future sector needs.

Find out more