Information Centre – Frequently Asked Questions
The Information Centre is asked a wide range of questions on a daily basis about the New Zealand seafood industry, and the seafood industry in general. Here are some of the more common questions asked, and answered.

Exporting seafood
How do I go about exporting seafood or fish products?

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) website has useful information.

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise also offers useful advice to exporters.

School projects

I’m doing a school project on fish/the fishing industry, can you help?

The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Information Centre is mainly concerned with the providing information services to the New Zealand industry, as we are funded by an industry levy. However the Council’s website has some useful “Hot Topics” and the Greatest Meal on Earth website has lots more information about New Zealand seafood. We also have resources developed in the late 1990s for the use of teachers, to support NCEA Level Three economics education in fishing science and technology.

Your local public library or school library will have book and journal resources that may help you (for example Index NZ), and staff there will be able to find resources suitable for your level of study.

Teachers should also contact the School Library Service of the National Library who may be able to provide other resources.

Domestic and international seafood consumption figures
Where can I find out more about seafood consumption figures?

You can view the 2007 Colmar Brunton survey commissioned by the NZ Seafood Industry Council here. The survey covers recreational fishing and fish consumption.

The figures below have been taken from outside the Council and constitute the best information available to date. Estimates of domestic consumption are not always accurate because it is very difficult to count how much people are eating.

You can check out our statistics page for more detailed information.

FAO, and OECD figures rely on “apparent consumption”, where domestic consumption is calculated as “Total production, less meal/fishmeal and other non-food unfit for humans, less exports, plus imports.”

FAO consumption figures are here. Note that the FAO statistics for NZ over a number of years (25-27 kgs), are much higher than the figure we quote (18kgs – from our publication Seafood for Health). See also graphs on consumption here.

Statistics New Zealand conducts a number of surveys including the Household Economic Survey (HES) – a survey of private household expenditure. It surveys fish (including wetfish, shellfish, crustacea), and is useful to show how much private households are spending on fish in general. It doesn’t break down the survey by species. Statistics New Zealand’s Retail Trade Survey may also be useful.

Fish stock assessment figures
Where can I find out about assessment figures for fish stock sustainability?

This information is available at the Ministry of Fisheries website. 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.

New Zealand fish processors
Where can I get a list of New Zealand fish processors?

The NZ Food Safety Authority site has some information on its website – the listings for market access to the US and EU cover most of the NZ processors.

Other animal product lists on the NZFSA web site are here.

You could also try the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council’s Exporters directory.

Fish identification

How do I identify a particular fish?

The NZ Seafood Industry Council have published the Guidebook to New Zealand Commercial Fish Species. See the Shop for further information.

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.

Nutrition values
What are the nutritional values for a particular fish or seafood?

You can view nutrition values for food products on the Greatest Meal on Earth website.

The Plant & Food Research New Zealand Food Composition Database contains information on the nutrient content of over 2600 foods commonly prepared and eaten in New Zealand.

Fish Exporters in New Zealand
Where do I find out who exports seafood out of New Zealand?

For a list of New Zealand fish exporters see our Exporters Directory.

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