Fisheries Infosite

Fish type - Shellfish

There are many thousands of species of shellfish in New Zealand, including;
  • 3,660 species of molluscs.
  • 2,682 species of crustaceans.
  • 42 species of octopus.
  • 85 species of squid.
  • 617 species of starfish.
  • 70 species of urchins.
  • 165 species of brittlestars.
  • 13 species of sea lillies.
  • 19 species of sea daisies.
  • 19 species of sea cucumbers.
Fishing for 31 of these species is managed under the Quota Management System.

Shellfish species form an integral part of complex and diverse ecosystems that support biodiversity and ecological production in salt water habitats.

The Fisheries Act 1996 provides for the management of aquatic life in all New Zealand waters, which include inland waters, estuaries, and the sea.  Shellfish species have customary value as taonga, and recreational and commercial value, as well as intrinsic value as part of the broader ecosystem.
Shellfish species are managed for customary Maori purposes, recreational and commercial fishing, aquaculture, aquatic life transfers, education, research and enhancement.

Iconic species