Fisheries are part of our natural heritage and are managed for the benefit of all New Zealanders.
For Maori, healthy, abundant fisheries are an important traditional asset and a source of great community pride.
Fishing is also one of New Zealand’s greatest outdoor recreation opportunities. Each year, hundreds of thousands of us enjoy gathering fine local seafood to feed families or guests.
And fishing is big business, too. Our wild fisheries employ nearly 10,000 people and generate over a billion dollars each year.
To get the most from our marine resources requires an ongoing balancing act.
We must balance what we take now against what we leave for the future. We must balance the economic benefits of catching fish against any environmental damage this may cause. We must balance how catches are allocated and shared between our commercial and non-commercial fishing interests. And we must balance the specific needs of one fishing interest group against the needs of another.
Discussing and judging these balances and trade-offs is part of the process of creating management plans for New Zealand’s fisheries (Fisheries Plans).