Fisheries New Zealand reports on the status of fish stocks and fisheries in New Zealand waters.
Each year, Fisheries assesses the status of as many fish stocks and fisheries as possible against the requirements of the Harvest Strategy Standard for New Zealand Fisheries.
Read the Status of New Zealand's Fisheries 2017 report [PDF, 2.3 MB]
- Download the Harvest Strategy Standard for New Zealand Fisheries 2008 [PDF, 309 KB]
- Read about the New Zealand Quota Management System
- Read detailed stock status information for individual stocks
Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review
A summary of environmental interactions between the seafood sector and the aquatic environment
The Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review (AEBAR) 2015 is a summary of environmental interactions between the seafood sector and the aquatic environment.
This, the 2014 edition of the Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review (AEBAR), expands and updates previous editions. It summarises information on a range of issues related to the environmental effects of fishing and aspects of marine biodiversity and productivity relevant to fish and fisheries. This review is a conceptual analogue of the Ministry’s annual reports from the Fisheries Assessment Plenary. It summarises the most recent data and analyses on particular aquatic environment issues and, where appropriate, assesses current status against any specified targets or limits.
Whereas the reports from the Fisheries Assessment Plenary are organised by fishstock, the Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review is organised by issue (e.g. protected species bycatch, benthic impacts), and almost all issues involve more than one fishstock or fishery.
This AEBAR document summarises information and, where appropriate, assesses current status against any specified targets or limits, on a range of issues related to the interactions between the seafood sector and the marine environment. This edition features some chapters updated from 2012 as well as new chapters on Chondrichthyans (sharks, rays and chimaeras), the ecological impacts of aquaculture, and Hector’s / Maui’s dolphins.
This is the second Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Review (AEBAR). It summarises information on a range of issues related to the environmental effects of fishing and aspects of the marine environment and biodiversity of relevance to fish and fisheries. The review summarises the most recent data and analyses on particular aquatic environment issues and, where appropriate, assesses current status against any specified targets or limits.
The Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review (AEBAR) summarises information on a range of issues related to the environmental effects of fishing and aspects of the marine environment and biodiversity of relevance to fish and fisheries. Developed over three years, this report summarises the most recent data and analyses on particular issues and, where appropriate, assesses current status against any specified targets or limits.
Aquatic Environment & Biodiversity Reports (AEBR)
This assessment presents bycatch estimates of seabirds in commercial trawl and longline fisheries in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The estimation relied on statistical models that used fishing effort and observer data up to the 2015–16 fishing year. Estimates for the latter fishing year included a total of 4517 (95% credible interval: 3760–5825) seabird captures in trawl and longline fisheries in New Zealand waters.
This report summaries annual estimates of bycatch levels of individual fish and invertebrate species in the trawl fisheries for arrow squid, hoki/hake/ling, southern blue whiting, jack mackerel, orange roughy, oreo, scampi, and the longline fishery for ling from 1990–91 to 2016–17. Total annual bycatch was estimated using a statistical model method, replacing a ratio estimator-based method used in previous iterations of this work.
A reassessment of population size and trends of Hutton’s shearwater following the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake and outlook for the species’ management.
The main breeding population of New Zealand (NZ) sea lions (Otariidae: Phocarctos hookeri) at the Auckland Islands has declined by about 50% since the late-1990s. This population displays numerous indicators of nutritional stress, but the precise mechanisms of this stress (e.g., essential prey species and changes in their availability to NZ sea lions) remain poorly understood. This precludes a meaningful assessment of the effects of environmental change or indirect fishery effects on NZ sea lion populations.
D’Archino, R.; Neill, K.F.; Nelson, W.A.; Fachon, E.; Peat, C. (2019). New Zealand Macroalgae: Distribution and Potential as National Scale Ecological Indicators.
New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report No.207. 217 p.
Canopy-forming macroalgae are internationally recognised as critical components of coastal ecosystems as primary producers, coastal buffers and provision of habitat. This report evaluates the use of large brown macroalgae as indicators of ecosystem health by: summarising the international and national literature; testing the responses of key species to stressors in culture; investigating a range of approaches to mapping and monitoring, including the use of drones and machine learning to analyse underwater videos.
Tuck, I.D.; Hewitt, J.E.; Bulmer, R.H. (2019). Monitoring Recovery of Benthic Fauna in Spirits Bay.
New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report No. 206. 74 p.
This report describes changes in the benthic communities of Spirits Bay related to fishing pressure and environmental factors. Survey data were analysed from 2006, 2010 and 2017. Epifaunal and infaunal communities consistently identified year, habitat, depth and fishing effects. Weaker fishing effects were detected from recent surveys, where fishing effort was lower. Species identified as sensitive to fishing were previously identified as sensitive on the basis of life history and morphology.
A data driven bioregionalisation to underpin shellfish fisheries restoration, Nelson Bays, New Zealand
The accuracy of at-sea identification of six species of deepsea sharks by MPI observers was determined by NIWA using photographs taken at the time of sampling. DNA barcoding analysis was also used to identify specimens that lacked photographs, using muscle tissues taken by the observers from each shark specimen. The six species sampled in the study were:
• Seal shark Dalatias licha, BSH
• Leafscale gulper shark Centrophorus squamosus, CSQ
• Owston’s dogfish Centroscymnus owstonii, CYO
• Longnose velvet dogfish Centroselachus crepidater, CYP
• Baxter’s lantern dogfish Etmopterus granulosus, ETB
• Plunket’s shark Proscymnodon plunketi, PLS
Data from two surveys to characterise biogenic habitats identified through Local Ecological Knowledge interviews are reported. The results demonstrate that New Zealand’s continental shelf supports a diverse range of habitats and species, many of which have not yet been formally described by science. At selected sites, the key habitat-forming species were identified, and the invertebrate species composition and associated fish communities described over localized spatial scales, and depth ranges.
The bottom-contacting deepwater Tier 1 and Tier 2 target fishstock footprint for 1990–2016 was estimated at 335 812 km2. This represents 8.2% of the Territorial Sea and EEZ seafloor area and 24% of the seafloor open to fishing, down to 1600 m. Tier 1 fisheries accounted for 93%, with hoki effort contributing 50%. The 2016 footprint covered 44 261 km2, 76 km2 of which was not contacted during 1990–2015. The aggregated swept area was 3.07 million km2 for 1990–2016 and 78 372 km2 for 2016.
CatchMapper provides heat maps and spatial estimates of catch and effort anywhere in the EEZ for all types of commercial fishing except eel fishing. This report describes the fishing represented in CatchMapper from October 2007 to September 2016 as well as the procedures for building polygons for fishing events, apportioning trip landings to each event polygon, and the range of ways the values of each polygon can be classified, pooled, and cut into spatial catch estimates and maps.
This report summarises bycatch and discards of fish and invertebrates in New Zealand arrow squid and scampi trawl fisheries for 2002–03 to 2015–16, based on analysis of fisheries observer and commercial catch effort data. Barracouta, silver warehou, and spiny dogfish were the main bycatch species in the arrow squid fishery, with total annual bycatch of 9000–40000 t and discards of 1000–16000 t. Javelinfish, other rattails, and sea perch were the main bycatch species in the scampi fishery, with total annual bycatch of 2400–5600 t and discards of 900–4100 t.
Research on black petrel at Little Barrier and Great Barrier Island in the 2016/17 breeding season followed 448 black petrel study burrows; of these 65% were occupied by breeding pairs and breeding success was 68%. Annually adult survival was 95%. Passive acoustic monitoring confirmed black petrels are concentrated within the summit ridges on Little Barrier Island and the Mt Hobson area on Great Barrier Island. Satellite GPS devices tracked 3 fledglings following an eastward migration route.
In New Zealand, captures of seabirds and other protected species are recorded by government observers when they are on-board commercial fishing vessels. This report addresses the question of how many seabirds would be reported caught if every commercial trawl and longline vessel fishing within New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone carried an observer. Statistical models were used to scale up from observed captures, to estimate total captures across all commercial trawl and longline fisheries. Estimates were made for the 2002–03 to 2014–15 fishing years for trawl fisheries, and for the 1998–99 to 2014–15 fishing years for longline fisheries.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is developing a risk assessment framework to identify the nature and extent of risks to chondrichthyan populations. This project aims to fill some of the knowledge gaps for some of the high-risk, non-Quota Management System species to reduce the level of uncertainty in the risk assessments of those species, and to provide information on their productivity that can then be used as inputs into future quantitative risk assessments. The species included in this study were seal shark (Dalatias licha), Owston’s dogfish (Centroscymnus owstonii), longnose velvet dogfish (Centroselachus crepidater), and Plunket’s shark (Scymnodon plunketi). Specimens and data were collected aboard commercial fishing vessels and research vessels, and integrated with existing data and specimens held by NIWA.
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