New Zealand's inshore fisheries are world class.
Within minutes of our major cities, we can gather a feed of shellfish, or catch rock lobster, snapper or blue cod.
For many, being able to go out and catch a feed of fish is part of what it means to be a New Zealander. Providing seafood for family and guests is also integral to the traditional Maori way of life.
However, we can’t always go out and catch our own fish, so commercial fishing has always been part of Maori and European societies.
For many years, commercial vessels mostly supplied New Zealand’s local market. However, the 1970s saw a large export trade rapidly develop - this meant a boom in extra fishing effort that caused a crisis for some inshore fisheries.
To address the crisis the Quota Management System
was created and new laws brought in. These have led to a gradual recovery of New Zealand’s inshore fisheries.
Building on this success, the government is now addressing the issues of fishing impacts on habitats and ecosystem
s, and impacts on protected species
like seals and seabirds.
Another inshore issue the government is working on is how future catch cuts and catch increases should be shared between New Zealand’s commercial and non-commercial fisheries sectors.