Fisheries Infosite

Fish type - Highly migratory

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
Highly Migratory Fisheries
Key opportunities and challenges
  • Encouraging conservation through international forums
  • Ensuring New Zealand meets its international obligations
  • Reducing illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the region
Fisheries for highly migratory species (HMS) include fisheries for large pelagics including tunas and swordfish (longline and gamefisheries); a skipjack fishery that largely uses purse seine methods; and troll fisheries for albacore.  There are world-renowned gamefisheries for various HMS, including marlins, swordfish and tunas.

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: New Zealand participates in both of these bodies.

Iconic species


For Highly Migratory Fisheries Plan click here