Recreational Fisheries

For many generations fishing has been a popular way for New Zealanders to pass the time.

Whether it is collecting shellfish, hunting outer banks for big game fish, surfcasting, or just taking children down to the local jetty, the enjoyment New Zealanders get from fishing is a highly valued part of our heritage.

Many of today’s fishers may remember seeing their parents or grandparents bringing home huge hauls of fish or shellfish. For inshore species these catches are a thing of the past. Important choices for New Zealand about management of its fisheries resources lie ahead.

With increasing populations, especially in our major cities, more and more people are going fishing which means greater pressure on our fish stocks. Each year more than a million New Zealanders go recreational fishing.

There is growing demand by recreational fishers and other sectors for a greater share of the available resource which, at times, exceeds sustainable catch levels. Competition for allocation of exclusive spatial rights is also growing.

Over recent years, the Ministry of Fisheries has begun to look carefully at shared fisheries, an approach which takes into account the many and varied values different sectors place on fisheries.

Juergen Schacke – winner, Recreational section, MFish photography competition 2008.

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Updated : 31 July 2008