Around 90 percent of our catch is exported, making New Zealand heavily dependent on world markets.
By improving our access to these markets, we can improve the value we get from our fisheries.
So the government gets involved in international trade negotiations. These include market access negotiations with individual countries.
New Zealand is working on free trade agreements with a number of countries, including China. An agreement with China could triple the value of our exports there; and increased customs cooperation might curb the export of black market seafood products to China.
Catches in some Northern Hemisphere fisheries have fallen recently, bringing hard times for fishers.
Some countries have helped their industries through subsidies. However, these make it cheaper for the companies to catch fish, which is unfair for New Zealand exporters. Some subsidies are for building more fishing boats, which can lead to overfishing.
So the government is working in the World Trade Organization to end fishing subsidies.
Photo: Forum Fisheries Agency