Apply for an Antarctic Marine Living Resources permit

The Convention Area in the Southern Ocean is regulated by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). New Zealanders intending to take marine organisms from this area must get a permit. Find out about the 2 types of permits and how to apply.

Two types of permits

The type of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) permit you need to operate in the Convention Area depends on what you're planning to do.

  • For commercial and research fishing, you'll need a fishing permit.
  • To do scientific research, you'll need a research permit. 

Map of the Convention Area – CCAMLR website  [PDF, 569KB]

Follow the steps for the permit you need 

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AMLR fishing permits

Requirements to fish in the Southern Ocean.

The process

To fish in the Convention Area, New Zealand fishing vessels must have:

  1. a high seas fishing permit
  2. an AMLR fishing permit approved by the Minister of Fisheries

To get an AMLR permit you'll need to:

Prepare your EOI

The 2021 advertising round seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) to fish in the CCAMLR Convention Area for the 2021/22 season is now closed. If you have any questions, email amlr@mpi.govt.nz

When submitting an EOI, make sure you include the following information:

  • Your name or the name of your company
  • The CCAMLR sub-areas of interest
  • What species you will be targeting
  • The fishing methods you'll use
  • The name of any vessels you'll be using

Send your EOI to MPI before the due date to amlr@mpi.govt.nz

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

AMLR permits
International Fisheries Management
International Policy
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

Once received, MPI will assess your EOI, and if suitable we'll ask you to submit a formal AMLR fishing permit application. 

AMLR fishing permit application

We'll tell you what information you need to provide in your application and the due date (usually late March).

Send an electronic copy of your application to MPI by emailing amlr@mpi.govt.nz

Successful applicants will be notified by MPI in April.

MPI will lodge all official vessel notifications with the CCAMLR Secretariat in May.

Pay the notification fee

If successful and your vessel is officially notified, you will have to pay a notification fee to the CCAMLR Secretariat. The CCAMLR Secretariat will invoice you a notification fee per vessel per new/exploratory toothfish fishery (AUD$8,319) and/or per research plan.

You must pay the notification fee to the CCAMLR Secretariat by 1 July. If you don't, your vessel notification won't get approved.  

Get your AMLR fishing permit

After you have paid the notification fee and CCAMLR has approved your vessel notification, MPI will draft an AMLR fishing permit for the Minister of Fisheries to approve.

We'll base the conditions of the permit on:

If approved, you'll get your permit in late November. Every vessel must have an approved AMLR permit on board at all times when fishing in the Convention Area.

AMLR research permits

Requirements to do research in the Southern Ocean or on the Antarctic continent.

New Zealanders wanting to take marine organisms for research on the Antarctic continent or from the Southern Ocean must:

  • get approval to conduct research from the Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • get an AMLR research permit from the Minister of Fisheries (through MPI).

The Antarctica New Zealand website has information on how to get approval from the Minister of Foreign Affairs by applying for logistical support. 

How to get your AMLR research permit from MPI

Your application for an AMLR research permit must include information consistent with Antarctica New Zealand’s approved science events, including:

  • the event manager's:
    • full name
    • address
    • email
    • phone number(s)
  • the event number assigned by Antarctica New Zealand
  • what dates you need the permit for (include duration of the trip)
  • a complete list of the marine organism(s) by weight and/or number – alive or dead – that you plan to take
  • full details of or a copy of the completed Environment Impact Assessment information being submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Send your application to MPI at least 16 weeks before you plan to go.

What happens next

We'll assess your application for a permit and may ask you for extra information. 

If the AMLR research permit is approved by the Minister of Fisheries, you'll be notified and provided with your AMLR research permit.

Find out more

AMLR Act 1981 – NZ Legislation website  

Who to contact 

If you have questions about AMLR permits, or to submit a fishing or research permit application: 

Email: amlr@mpi.govt.nz

Post: AMLR permits
           International Fisheries Management
           International Policy
           Ministry for Primary Industries
           PO Box 2526
           Wellington

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