Apply for an Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) permit

Find out about applying for Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) permits to fish or do research in the Convention Area in the Southern Ocean or on the Antarctic continent.

What an Antarctic Marine Living Resource permit covers

New Zealanders who want to take marine life from the Convention Area in the Southern Ocean must get an Antarctic Marine Living Resource (AMLR) permit. The area is regulated by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

Map of the Convention Area – CCAMLR

Follow the steps for the activity you want to do

The process for applying for an AMLR permit depends on whether you want to do:

  • commercial fishing or research fishing
  • research.
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Commercial and research fishing

Requirements for fishing in the Southern Ocean.

The process

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

To get an AMLR permit, you need to:

Getting an AMLR permit

1. Prepare your expression of interest (EOI)

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) calls for expressions of interest annually, usually in January and February.

When you submit an EOI, include:

  • 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 use.

Send your EOI (before the due date) to

We'll assess your EOI. If it's suitable, we'll ask you to submit a formal AMLR permit application.

2. Submit an AMLR permit application

We'll tell you:

  • what your application needs to include
  • the due date (usually late March).

Email a copy of your application to

We'll contact successful applicants in April.

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

3. Pay the notification fee if you're successful

If successful and your vessel is officially notified, you'll have to pay a notification fee to the CCAMLR Secretariat. The CCAMLR Secretariat will invoice you a notification fee. There is a cost for each:

  • vessel
  • new/exploratory toothfish fishery
  • research plan.

For example, if you are using 3 vessels in 2 fisheries, you would need to pay 6 times the notification fee.

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

4. Receive your AMLR permit

After you've paid the notification fee and CCAMLR has approved your vessel notification, MPI will draft an AMLR 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.


Requirements for doing research in the Southern Ocean or on the Antarctic continent.

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

  • approval from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to do research
  • an AMLR permit approved by the Minister of Fisheries.

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 permit from MPI

Your application for an AMLR permit must include information consistent with Antarctica New Zealand’s approved science events. This includes:

  • the event manager's full name, address, email, and phone numbers
  • 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 you're submitting to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 At least 16 weeks before you plan to go, email a copy of your application to

What happens next

We'll assess your application for a permit. We'll let you know if we need extra information.

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

Find out more

Antarctic Marine Living Resources Act 1981 – NZ Legislation

Who to contact

If you have questions about AMLR permits, or on how to apply for one, email

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