Fisheries Infosite

Fishery - Paua (PAU 5A)

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

Image drawing for Paua (PAU)

Fiordland paua stocks (PAU 5A) are mainly located along the outer coast, and in Dusky Sound and Chalky and Preservation Inlets. The distribution of paua in Fiordland is determined by the distribution of kelp - their main food source. For this reason, paua are not found a long way inside the narrow steep-sided northern fiords. The state of the paua stock overall in Fiordland is unknown, but the southern area is considered to be over-fished. About 160 tonnes of paua has been taken annually in Fiordland, of which over 90% is taken by commercial fishers.

Commercial fishers currently have voluntary measures in place to reduce their catch. Recreational fishers who go to Fiordland prefer targeting rock lobster using underwater breathing apparatus. This preference reduces the amount of recreational paua fishing as it is illegal to have paua when in possession of this apparatus.