Fisheries Infosite

Region - Southland/Fiordland (FMA 5)

The Southland region is nationally significant for its commercial oyster, blue cod, paua and rock lobster fisheries.

Foveaux Strait (or Bluff) oysters are a New Zealand icon and have been commercially fished for over 100 years. The fishery has been ravaged recently by the oyster parasite Bonamia. However, fishers and fishery managers hope to restore the fishery to historic levels and have developed a fisheries plan to guide this. The oyster fishery traditionally opens in March and closes at the end of August (or sooner if they’ve caught their quota)

Blue cod The Southland region produces over half New Zealand’s blue cod catch. These are caught in pots, mostly around Stewart Island/Foveaux Strait. Most of this fish is sold on the New Zealand domestic market.

While the Stewart Island/Foveaux Strait area also contains important paua and rock lobster fisheries, the biggest fisheries for these species are in the Fiordland area. Fiordland waters also contain a developing fishery for kina (that supplies much of New Zealand’s domestic market).

Commercial fishing in Fiordland waters is restricted by agreement and regulation to the outside of the Sounds. These fisheries are managed in line with the Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy, which was developed by a local partnership of fishing, conservation and iwi interests - the Fiordland Marine Guardians (