We have a
selection of frequently asked questions divided into
Where can I find the
recreational fishing limits for the Marlborough Sounds?
These can be found at
www.fish.govt.nz under the ‘recreational’ tab.
Or you can contact the local Ministry of Fisheries office on (03)
What should I do if I
suspect someone is illegally selling fish or shellfish?
If you suspect someone is selling fish illegally,
take as many details as you can (location, time, date, car
registration etc) and call 0800 4POACHER. Do not buy the fish if
you suspect it is illegal.
Am I allowed to sell the
fish that I catch as a recreational fisher?
No. It is a serious offence for anyone such as recreational or
customary fishers to sell their catch. Selling includes offering
for sale, swap and barter.
What should I do if I
suspect someone is taking too many fish or shellfish?
The Fisheries (Amateur Fishing) Regulations 1986 set out the
maximum number of finfish, shellfish and rock lobster which may be
taken or possessed by any one person, in any day. This means that
a person who accumulates more than his/her daily limit will be
charged with breaches of the regulations.
If you see someone taking more than their fair share, note down as
many details as you can (location, time, date, car registration
etc) and call 0800 4POACHER (0800 4 76224). Fishery officers will
respond to your call and investigate the situation.
Who are Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki
Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki are individuals or groups who can authorize
customary fishing permits within their rohe moana, in accordance
with tikanga Maori. Their appointments area confirmed by the
Minister responsible for the regulations after notification by the
Tangata Whenua. Tangata Whenua is defined as the whanau, hapu or
iwi, who hold manawhenua manamoana over a particular area.
Can non-Maori apply for a customary fishing
Yes. Customary fishing rights not only govern access to fish, they
determine the right to manage fishing activity. The right belongs
to the Tangata Whenua - those Maori holding traditional authority
over a particular area. The principle of manaakitanga, or ‘looking
after one’s neighbours’, is a major part of customary practice. If
the Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki decides it is appropriate to issue a
customary fishing authorisation to someone who is not Tangata
Whenua, they are able to do so.
What is the Quota Management
The QMS was introduced
in 1986 to ensure sustainable
of fisheries resources through the use of a defined quota share to
control of harvest levels for each species in a nominated
geographical area called a Quota Management Area (QMA).
What are Quota Shares?
Quota shares are a property right that represents the quota
owner’s share of a commercial fishery. There are 100 million
shares allocated for each fish stock. There are also restrictions
in the Fisheries Act 1996 which controls the ownership of New
Zealand quota by overseas persons or companies.
Owning quota shares does not allow you to take
fish. The amount of quota shares owned just determines the amount
Annual Catch Entitlement
(ACE) that is generated each year.
What is Annual Catch
ACE is a property right, which gives the holder the right to
harvest a certain weight of a fish stock each fishing year. Quota
shares generate an amount of ACE at the beginning of each fishing
year. This means that each person who owns quota shares will be
allocated a quantity of ACE for them to harvest in that fishing
Where can I find out about
assessment figures for fish stock sustainability?
This information is available at the
It is a summary of the assessments of the sustainability of
current TACCs and recent catch levels and the status of the stocks
for the last fishing year. Each summary stock assessment is linked
to the detailed stock assessment and research results.
How do I identify a
particular or unusual fish?
The NZ Seafood
Industry Council have published the Guidebook to New
Zealand Commercial Fish Species.
The Te Papa 'Fish Team' can help you with this.
They say: "If you find an unusual or rare fish, or simply one you
would like to have identified, we are happy to do this for you,
and if the specimen is important we will give you a copy of one of
our books in exchange for the specimen. We prefer to receive
frozen specimens so we can record important information on colours
before the fish is preserved." More details and contact
information is available at the
Te Papa website.
How many species are fished
commercially in NZ?
How many species are in the
quota management system?
How much quota is owned by
Around 50% of fishing quota is owned by Maori.
What is the estimated
commercial fish resource value (2008)?
What is the Total Allowable
Commercial Catch (2008/2009)?