Fisheries Infosite

Fishery - Seaweed

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
Related links
Durvillea antarctica Bull kelpThe New Zealand Seaweeds Fisheries Plan includes all seaweed fisheries (except those defined as unwanted organisms under the Biosecurity Act 1993), in all three physical states (attached, free-floating and beach-cast). However, the plan focuses most attention on those seaweed species that are of primary value to commercial, customary, and recreational fishers. Seaweed fisheries in FMA 4 (the Chatham Islands) and FMA 10 (Kermadecs) are not included in this plan – they are covered by the fisheries plans for those areas. The plan encompasses not only marine macro-algae (ie, kelps), but also sea grasses and freshwater algae. Vascular aquatic plants, such as mangroves and watercress (puha), are not included. Seaweeds are found in all inshore inter-tidal to sub-tidal habitats throughout New Zealand. They play very important ecological roles in many aquatic communities - they are the nutritional base for aquatic food webs, and provide habitat and shelter for numerous fishes, invertebrates, birds, and mammals. Seaweed beds support high biodiversity.