Fisheries research processes

We follow processes to ensure that our research produces accurate and useful information. Find out how we plan and review research and our research standards.

Planning fisheries research

We determine what research is needed for our fisheries through our:

  • fisheries plan processes
  • fisheries management 5-year operational plans
  • fisheries management annual tactical plans
  • obligations under international fisheries plans.

Research opportunities

Opportunities may be openly advertised through the Government Electronic Tendering Service. Suppliers can register for free.

Download the list of the Proposed Fisheries Research Services for 2021-22. As at 8 June 2021, the cost recovery consultation process is underway for these projects and they may be subject to change.

Proposed fisheries research services for 2021-22 [PDF, 2.4 MB]

Research contracting and tendering

Most fisheries research that we contract is fully contestable. We award project contracts by following a competitive tendering process.

Evaluations and negotiations start after a tender round closes, and may overlap with the periods in which tenders are invited. Our cost recovery obligations mean that we need to consult with commercial organisations on a project if:

  • objectives are added to or removed from a project
  • projects are delayed for a long time
  • costs are very different to the estimates.

We award contracts to the tenderer who we believe can best provide the required service cost effectively.

Tender instructions and information about the evaluation process and the evaluation criteria are included in tender documents.

Previous research contracts

You can download lists of the fisheries research contracts by financial year.

Fisheries research projects 2018-2019 [PDF, 425 KB]

Fisheries research projects 2017-2018 [PDF, 410 KB]

We have different procurement approaches, as defined here:

  • Closed tender: A tender process where MPI asks a limited number of known suppliers to tender for a contract opportunity. The contract opportunity is not openly advertised and is estimated to be below $100,000 for the whole of life of the contract
  • Direct tender: Direct approach to a supplier due to limited capability in the supply market, additional goods and services following an open tender, previously unsuccessful tender process or if the requirement is low value.
  • Open tender: The tender is advertised on the Government Electronic Tendering System and invites all interested domestic and international suppliers to participate in the procurement.
  • Panel competitive: A tender process where MPI invites more than one member of a previously competed supplier panel to respond to a contract opportunity.
  • Panel direct: A tender process where MPI asks one panel member only to respond to a contract opportunity because there is only one supplier on the panel with capability or capacity.

Research and science information standards

All research must meet our quality standards.

Research and Science Information Standard for NZ Fisheries [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Use the forms and templates on the following page to provide reporting back to us on your fisheries research contract.

Fisheries research contract templates and guidance

Reviewing research outcomes

We run technical working groups as needed to evaluate research and review outcomes. These groups follow a peer-review process to ensure the research is accurate.

Technical working groups review:

  • research on aquatic environment issues (including protected species)
  • fish stock assessments
  • recreational catch estimates
  • biodiversity research.

There are science working groups for:

  • Antarctic
  • Aquatic Environment
  • Biodiversity Research (BRAG)
  • Deepwater and Middle Depths
  • Eel
  • Fisheries data
  • Highly Migratory Species
  • Hoki
  • Northern Inshore
  • Marine Amateur Fisheries
  • Research Co-ordinating Committee
  • Rock Lobster
  • Shellfish
  • Southern Inshore
  • Stock Assessment Methods
  • Plenary.

Who to contact

If you have questions about fisheries science and research, email

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