The New Zealand seafood business

New Zealand controls the world’s fourth largest coastal fishing zone in an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that produces about one percent of the world’s fish catch. The EEZ covers 2.2 million square kilometres of ocean ranging over 30 degrees of latitude – from the subtropical Kermadec Islands to the subantarctic Auckland and Campbell Islands.

The New Zealand industry, represented at all levels by the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council, pays for fisheries management, enforcement and operational research. It also invests more than 2% of gross returns in research and development with a strong focus on environmental issues.

New Zealand seafood industry fact file ยป

Management and Sustainability
Seafood is New Zealand’s fifth largest export, earning NZ$ 1.35 billion per year and supporting more than 22,000 jobs domestically.

New Zealand is a world leader in fisheries management and supports an industry based on sustainable harvest and environmental principles. Rigorous fishing controls in New Zealand waters, including the highly effective Quota Management System, ensure sustainable management of New Zealand’s “wild-catch” fisheries. For more information see Management and Sustainability.

New Zealand Fisheries
Around 650,000 tonnes of seafood are harvested from New Zealand’s coastal waters and Exclusive Economic Zone each year. Almost 63 percent of this harvest is mid and deep-water fish, 12 percent is pelagics, 10 percent is inshore species and 15 percent is from aquaculture. For more information see New Zealand Fisheries.

The New Zealand aquaculture industry is worth about NZ$ 320 million annually.

Aquaculture is the process of farming seafood, using either rope culture, trays and on-shore tanks for shellfish; or sea cages and on-shore tanks for fish. Some forecasts suggest that aquaculture will account for 50 percent of global seafood production in the next two decades. For more information see Aquaculture.

Strengths of the New Zealand seafood industry

The New Zealand seafood industry is poised for further growth. It aims to be the preferred supplier of high quality seafood products to discerning world markets and a number of key strengths will enable it to do this.

New Zealand seafood products have a strong international reputations for high quality, reliable food safety and, of increasing significance, for sustainable management of the resource.
The Quota Management Systems (QMS) ensures that our waters are fished sustainably and that thre is a consistent supply to meet yearly and ongoing demand. This provides a long-term assurance for buyers that few countries can match.
New Zealand is a signatory to treaties that require international sustainable mangement of fish stocks. International interest in and respect for the QMS has seen increased liaison with other fishing nations with interests in managing wild resources in a sustainable way, as well as managing access to marine resources.
Consistent quality and supply coupled with innovation and niche marketing increasingly enable the New Zealand industry to win business in high value, premium markets. This is helped by a perception amongst our trading partners that New Zealand seafood comews from clean waters.
The industry and the companies within it are financially strong.
The industry is efficient and self-funding.
McDermott Fairgray’s Economic Impact Assessment
In 2000 the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council had the McDermott Fairgray Group to do a study to assess the total economic impact resulting from the presence of the seafood industry in New Zealand and each Regional Council area.

The Economic Impact Assessment provides background information and summarises the findings. Appendix 1 provides a breakdown of the survey data for the North Island and appendix 2 for the South Island.

Economic Impact Assessment for New Zealand Regions 245kB
Appendix 1 – North Island 371kB
Appendix 2 – South Island 300kB

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