Accessing high seas fisheries under regional arrangements

A high seas fishing permit doesn't necessarily give you access to high seas fisheries. Some high seas areas and stocks are managed under regional arrangements that New Zealand isn't a party to. Find out how to ask for approval to fish in these waters.

Access fisheries NZ is a party to

New Zealand is a party to several regional fisheries arrangements. You can apply to fish in these areas when you complete your high seas permit application form.

Access fisheries NZ isn't a party to

We can't authorise vessels to fish for stocks managed under regional arrangements that New Zealand isn't a party to. Your high seas fishing permit prohibits fishing for these stocks.

Get permission to fish

In some cases you can access these fisheries by getting approval from us.

To apply for access, contact Fisheries New Zealand by emailing

We'll contact the organisation and try to arrange access. For example, New Zealand may agree to the organisation's conservation and management rules or may become a member of the arrangement.

Arrangements New Zealand isn't a party to

Arrangement or organisationAreaStock 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 Halibut
(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 waters under a regional arrangement, we'll send you an authorisation with the conditions you need to meet.

If we can't provide approval, we'll let you know the reasons why.

The time to process your application will depend on the regional organisation, so apply as soon as you can.

Who to contact

If you have questions about access to high seas fisheries under a regional arrangement, email

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