The Southland Region hunkers on the edge of the wild, Southern Ocean and is swept by southwest gales of the Roaring Forties. Weather dictates the fishing here.
The region contains outstanding recreational fishing and diving opportunities, particularly around Fiordland and Steward Island/Foveaux Strait. The diving here is enhanced by clear Southern Ocean waters.
Customary and recreational harvests are most often taken by locals. However, more and more visitors enjoy the area, fishing from charter vessels based in Fiordland, Stewart Island, Bluff and Riverton.
Southland is home to New Zealand’s most iconic commercial fishery - Foveaux Strait (‘Bluff’) oysters. Less well-known is the fact that this region produces much of the blue cod for New Zealand’s domestic market. Paua and crayfish are also important fisheries here.
Commercial fishing in the region is influenced by the changeable weather which affects access to their fishing grounds. Most commercial vessels land their catch into either Bluff or Riverton.
The Southland Region encompasses diverse marine environments from the internationally significant Fiordland Marine Area, through Foveaux Strait (famous for its oysters and other fisheries), taking in Stewart Island/Rakiura, and the Southland coast around to the Slope Point – the southern most tip of the South Island.