Fisheries Infosite

Fishery - Large pelagic species


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 30/09/2020
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2020
Related links
Opportunities and challenges
  • Maintaining domestic fisheries for highly migratory species at the outer edge of their distibutions 
  • Balancing a viable local tuna industry with world-renowned gamefisheries 
  • Continuing efforts to minimise catches of seabirds and other non-fish bycatch  

Skipjack tuna






New Zealand has world-renowned gamefisheries for various large pelagic species, including marlins, swordfish, and tunas. Some of these species are also the focus of commercial fisheries that operate using the method of surface longlining.

New Zealand vessels operate within New Zealand's zone, on the high seas, and by agreement in the zones of other countries in the Pacific. The international context for management of HMS is set by two regional fisheries management organisations: the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna, and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. New Zealand participates in both of these bodies.