Fisheries Infosite

Fishery - North East Shellfish

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
Group of Rock Lobster
The North East area covers the area between North Cape and Cape Runaway (near East Cape).  This area contains a diverse range of habitats and species that support important customary, recreational and commercial fisheries.  A key issue for MFish is meeting the often competing needs of customary, recreational and commercial fishers, and environmental groups in terms of utilisation and protection of fisheries resources and habitats.  The North East Shellfish Fisheries Plan seeks to identify and balance these needs for shellfish in the North East region.

Shellfish resources are particularly valued by customary and recreational fishers.  Important commercial fisheries also exist for a number of species.  The North East shellfish fishery addresses 21 species, of which five are key species (cockle, pipi, tuatua, green lipped mussel and kina).  There is a growing interest in species that historically have seen little or no harvest.  Non-commercial harvest pressure and compliance are key management issues.  There is an increasing awareness of the environmental effects of land use activities on shellfish resources.  Crayfish is addressed in a national single species plan.