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Proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act to ensure New Zealand continues to meet its international fisheries obligations

About this consultation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) seeks your feedback on legislative proposals to improve the delivery of New Zealand's international fisheries management and compliance obligations through the Fisheries Act 1996.

New Zealand's high seas fishing regime is set out in Part 6A of the ActPart 6A:

  • implements the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement
  • implements the 1993 FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) Compliance Agreement
  • provides the framework for implementing conservation and management measures approved by regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs).

What is being proposed?

MPI is looking for feedback on a range of proposals, including:

  • tightening and clarifying the rules for authorising and revoking fishing permits on the high seas
  • strengthening the monitoring of New Zealand vessels fishing in other states' waters
  • clarifying and strengthening penalties for New Zealand vessels breaking international conventions, including making it an offence to engage in activities prohibited under international commitments, including operating or supporting listed illegal fishing vessels
  • allowing for foreign flagged vessels suspected of illegal fishing on the high seas to be detained in New Zealand ports to enable inspection.

Full details of the proposed changes are in the consultation document.

Consultation document

Proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act to ensure New Zealand continues to meet its international fisheries obligations [PDF, 1.1 MB] 

Related document

Review of the Fisheries Act 1996 against New Zealand's International Obligations and Related Market Requirements [PDF, 2.1 MB]

Making your submission

Submissions close at 5pm on 21 November 2021.

Email your feedback to

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

International fisheries team
Fisheries New Zealand
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

Submissions are public information

Note that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make submissions available unless we have good reasons for withholding them. That is explained 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 that 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 tell us to release it.

MPI may post all or parts of any written submission on its website. We'll consider that you have consented to its publication, unless clearly stated otherwise in your submission.