New Zealand’s waters are some of our most valued outdoor places.
They are places where we can connect with nature. And they provide opportunities for fishing and diving - either for recreation, or to gather food for family and friends.
The value of self-expression and mental wellbeing that recreational activities like fishing and diving provide is difficult to measure. However, there are several studies that give an idea of what these activities are worth to New Zealanders or New Zealand communities.
Some people simply enjoying fish-watching. Some like to catch a fish and let it go again – which often happens in big game fishing. And others take great pleasure out of eating – or offering to others - the fish they have caught themselves.
The reality is that many people do a mixture of all these things. For instance, a diver may enjoy fish watching, but may also take a feed of fish for family and friends. Or someone line-fishing may put some fish back, but keep others for the pot.
All these uses need to be kept in mind when managing recreational fisheries.