Fisheries Infosite

Region - North West (FMA 9)

Key statistics
Recreational significance High
Customary significance High
Environmental importance High
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
Regional characteristics
Area 329,000 km2
Coastline 2,810 kms
Productivity Medium
Climate Sub-Tropical
Total population2 1,721,000
Tangata Whenua2 325,000
Recreational fishers (est. 20%) 239,000
2 Census 2006
The North West region stretches from north Taranaki to North Cape. The region is characterised by stretches of exposed, sandy coast, interspersed with rocky shores and significant harbours.

On the coast, fishing is influenced by the dominant weather conditions. Because of these conditions, the time that non-commercial fishers are able to fish can be limited by rough conditions, and nearly all the fresh commercial catch from the area is landed into Auckland through the Manukau Harbour. The exposed character of the coast also influences the nature of shellfish that can be found here. 

The region’s harbours are very important for tangata whenua and non-commercial and commercial fishing. They also provide nursery habitats of importance to fisheries management for the west coast of the North Island.

To find out about the region’s aquaculture, visit

Iconic species

    Image drawing for Grey Mullet (GMU)        Species photo for Snapper (SNA)
          Grey_Mullet                                Snapper                                                                      
Image drawing for Kahawai (KAH)    Image drawing for Toheroa (TOH)
               Kahawai                                 Toheroa