There are 130 species fished commercially in New Zealand waters. Their market
value can change depending on how much the market – both here and overseas
– wants to buy.
Peter Langlands – winner, Commercial section, MFish photography
Economists have placed a value on New Zealand’s living marine
resources based largely on average quota values. The total asset
value has been increasing over time. In the 11 years between
1996 and 2007 it has increased 40 percent from $2.7 billion to
When compared with the rest of the world, New Zealand’s
growth in fisheries production fluctuates. Much of this fluctuation
reflects the variation in harvest of species, where the amount
caught can fluctuate from year to year; squid is an example
The fishing industry is worth a lot of money to the New Zealand
economy. The wild fish catch earns more than $1.1 billion in
export earnings each year and sales from aquaculture bring the
total to more than $1.3 billion.
Like other sectors there are costs associated with fishing that can
have an impact on overall earnings. The commercial sector looks
for ways to fish economically. Sometimes this involves looking
overseas for solutions.
One example is New Zealand companies chartering fishing
vessels and crew from overseas companies. Such fishing vessels
are commonly known as Foreign Charter Vessels (FCVs).
FCVs operate in many of the deepwater fisheries, including squid,
hoki and jack mackerel, and account for a significant proportion
of catch in these important and valuable fisheries. The majority
of the FCVs operating in New Zealand are from Korea, Russia and
When chartered by New Zealand fishing companies, these vessels
are bound by the same area closures and restrictions as the
domestic fleet. They are also subject to the same requirements
for observer coverage. Likewise, if FCVs breach any part of the
Fisheries Act 1996, they are subject to the same punishments as