Accessing high seas fisheries under regional arrangements

Find out which high seas fisheries you need more than a high seas permit for, and what you need to do to apply. And check the list of high seas fisheries where you only need a high seas permit.

You need more than a high seas permit for some fisheries

New Zealand isn't part of some regional fishing arrangements on the high seas. This means we can't authorise vessels to fish for stocks in these areas. A high seas fishing permit does not allow you to fish for them.

You'll need to apply for access to fish in these areas after you get your high seas permit from MPI.

See a list of the areas

How to get permission to fish in these areas 

For some of these regional areas, we can help you get approval. If you want to apply or learn more, email

The process will be different for each arrangement. We'll get in touch with you.

We'll need to understand what activity you want to do, and how this relates to the arrangement. We will need to contact the organisation to try to arrange access. Access is arranged between countries, not companies. If the access is possible, it would require New Zealand to:

  • agree to the organisation's conservation and management rules, and/or
  • become a member of the arrangement.

Arrangements New Zealand isn't a part of

Arrangement or organisation


Stock managed

(Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission)

Eastern Pacific Ocean

  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Skipjack tuna
  • Other fish taken by tuna vessels

(International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas)

Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas

  • Tuna
  • Tuna-like species

(Convention on future multilateral co-operation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries)

Northwest Atlantic Ocean

  • All fish
  • Seaweed
  • Aquatic life

(Indian Ocean Tuna Commission)

Indian Ocean and adjacent seas (north of Antarctic Convergence)

  • Tuna
  • Tuna-like species

(General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean)

Mediterranean and adjacent waters

All aquatic resources

(International Pacific Halibut Commission)

Territorial waters of Canada and USA and high seas off western Canada and USA


(Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission)

North East Atlantic and Arctic Oceans

All fisheries resources except:

  • marine mammals
  • sedentary species

What to expect

If you get approval to fish in these areas, we'll send you an authorisation with the conditions you need to meet. If permission is declined, we'll let you know why.

Arrangements that New Zealand already has access to

New Zealand does have access to 4 regional arrangements. For these, you can apply to fish in them in your high seas permit application.

Area name

Area code

Stock managed

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources Convention Area


Antarctic marine living resources

Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna Convention Area


Southern bluefin tuna in all areas where they occur.

South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation Convention Area


All fisheries resources except:

  • highly migratory species
  • anadromous and catadromous species (like eels, salmon)
  • marine mammals, reptiles and seabirds.

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Convention Area


Highly migratory species

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