Aquaculture is the cultivation of fish, shellfish or aquatic plants, in natural or controlled marine or fresh-water environments. Shellfish are grown using either suspended long-line rope culture, inter-tidal trays or baskets or on-shore tanks, while fish are grown in sea-cages and on-shore tanks.

Some forecasts suggest that aquaculture will account for 50 percent of global seafood production in the next two decades.

Farming activities

GreenshellTM mussels currently dominate New Zealand’s aquaculture activities followed by King Salmon and Pacific oysters. Paua (abalone) farming for meat and pearl is a growing industry.

The high quality of New Zealand’s coastal waters and the abundance of plankton, along with the prevalence of sheltered harbours and inlets create ideal conditions for shellfish aquaculture.

The Marlborough Sounds is New Zealand’s most important mussel and salmon farming area with other key farm sites located in Golden Bay, the Coromandel, Stewart Island and for oyster, the far North.

You can find out more about GreenshellTM mussels, salmon and paua and their respective farming industries in the Species section.

A strong future
The New Zealand aquaculture industry is worth about 320 million dollars annually with domestic consumption accounting for around 40 percent of sales

There are a number of other species in New Zealand waters that show potential within the aquaculture industry including turbot, kingfish, eels, rock lobster, sea horses, geoduck clams, and some seaweeds and sponges.

New Zealand’s aquaculture production has risen considerably over the past decade and the sector now employs nearly 30 percent of the total seafood industry workforce. It has the potential to provide many more jobs for regional economies and the continued careful management of our unpolluted, plankton-rich coastal waters will be pivotal to this.

Strategic direction
New Zealand’s aquaculture products already have a great reputation at home and overseas. But to achieve its full potential the industry must identify and overcome any barriers that might inhibit its growth.

To this end the New Zealand Aquaculture Strategy was commissioned and completed by Aquaculture New Zealand, with assistance from the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council, in 2006. The main reason for developing the strategy is to lay down a structured path for sustainably developing growth of this exciting industry.

The New Zealand Aquaculture Strategy 1.2MB
Establishing and operating a marine farm
A guide to establishing and operating a marine farm in New Zealand has been developed by the New Zealand government. It helps new marine farmers with information regarding the setting up and operation. Read the Marine Farmer Guide »


Catch methods

Twenty-five years ago two-thirds of New Zealand’s mid and deepwater fisheries lay largely undeveloped, while aquaculture was a far off dream of marine farm pioneers. It’s a very different picture today.

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.

Following are the definitions of the different New Zealand fisheries and the types of fish found within them. The catching methods on the left give you more detail about how the species in each of the fisheries are caught.

“Aquaculture” – the inshore farming of certain species – is also described here but for more detail see Aquaculture »

Crustaceans and Shellfish
Depth: Inshore waters
Fishing Method: Dredging, potting and diving
Fish caught: Spiny rock lobster (crayfish), paua (abalone), scallops, oysters, clams, cockles, and crab from shallow inshore waters, and scampi and queen scallops from deeper water
Inshore Fisheries
Depth: Near shore up to 200 metres
Fishing Method: Trawling, set netting and bottom longlining
Fish caught: Snapper, red cod, bluenose, monkfish, tarakihi, warehou, gurnard, trevally, rig, blue moki, flounder, groper, turbot and john dory
Pelagic Fisheries
Depth: Surface waters to 200 metres
Fishing Method: Purse seining, mid-water trawl, occean trolling, and surface longlining.
Fish caught: Tuna, mackerel, barracouta, and kahawai
Middle-Depth Fisheries
Depth: 200-600 metres
Fishing Method: Trawling, bottom longlining and jigging
Fish caught: Hoki, squid, hake, ling, barracouta, and warehou
Deep-Water Fisheries
Depth: 600-1000 metres
Fishing Method: Trawling with specialised gear
Fish caught: Orange roughy, cardinal, alfonsino and oreo dory
Depth: Inshore marine farming using rope culture, trays or sea cages and on-shore tanks
Cultivation Method: Farming
Species: Greenshell (TM) mussels, king salmon, Pacific oysters, paua (abalone). Further potential aquaculture species include turbot, kingfish, eels, rock lobster, sea horses, Bluff oysters, geoduck clams as well as some seaweeds and sponges.
For more information about this part of the New Zealand seafood industry, see Aquaculture.

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Management & Sustainability

Prior to 1965, New Zealand only controlled fishing within a 3-mile coastal limit. In 1965, a 9-mile fishing zone outside the 3-mile territorial zone was established. Many foreign fishing boats fished outside this 12-mile limit and New Zealand had no control over the fish taken from these waters. During these times, the New Zealand industry focused on a largely inshore fishery fished from relatively small trawlers and other vessels.

Exclusive Economic Zone
Click for larger map
New Zealand’s 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) was created in 1978. Since then, the fishing industry has expanded to include harvesting mid and deep-water species from within this EEZ. Initially, this involved joint ventures with overseas companies experienced in this type of fishing, but now most boats are New Zealand owned.

Although New Zealand’s EEZ is the fourth largest in the world, covering 1.3 million square nautical miles equivalent to 2.2 million square kilometres, 65% percent of that is too deep (over 1000 meters) or closed to commercial fishing.

One third of the EEZ is closed forever to bottom trawling as Benthic Protection Areas.

All commercial fishing in the EEZ is monitored via satellite by the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries. This means that the government has a record of every trawl made in the EEZ. Less than 10 per cent of the entire EEZ has ever been trawled.

By the early 1980s fishing pressure had reduced the size of a number of New Zealand’s major fisheries, particularly the inshore fisheries. Because of this, in 1986 New Zealand introduced the Quota Management System (QMS) with the aims of conserving major fisheries stocks and making the fishing industry more efficient.
QMS involves the industry and government agencies continually working together to assess stock levels of all quota-managed species. From these results, the Ministry of Fisheries sets a yearly Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for each species concerned.

There are now 96 species or species groups controlled by the quota system. The system covers most major fisheries within New Zealand’s EEZ, and will eventually cover all our commercially harvested species. For a full list of the species included in the QMS see Species.

Independent international sustainability research
In July 2009 Dr Boris Worm and Prof Ray Hilborn, along with 19 marine and ecosystem scientists from around the world, released the results of their groundbreaking research and assessment of many of the world’s fisheries.

While the news wasn’t all good for global fisheries, the New Zealand fisheries assessed (such as hoki) received the highest possible rating for ecologically sustainable management. In their media release, Prof Hilborn said that it was good news for several regions in the U.S., Iceland and New Zealand.

“These highly managed ecosystems are improving,” he said.

According to the authors’ analysis, Alaska and New Zealand have led the world in terms of management success by not waiting until drastic measures are needed to conserve, restore and rebuild marine resources.

The research shows that New Zealand is an area where eco-systems have never been overfished and are effectively managed for ecological sustainability.

You can read this research article by Dr Worm et al here or watch a summary:

New Zealand seafood industry sustainability research
The New Zealand seafood industry commitment to sustaining New Zealand’s seafood resource is ongoing. We invest up to $20 million every year in research so that we know how best to:

harvest seafood in an environmentally sustainable way
minimise the impact of fishing and aquaculture on our natural environment.


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 »

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


Industry Organisations

The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council is an industry-owned company with its shares held by Commercial Stakeholder Organisations (CSOs).  As shareholders, these CSOs form the bulk of the Council’s membership.

CSOs are companies or associations owned by rights-holders that represent the interests of those rights-holders.  In effect, this means CSOs can represent and manage the specific affairs of a particular fishery (eg rock lobster), a geographic area (eg northern inshore fisheries), specific fish stock (eg PAU2) or a group of stocks.

CSOs may appoint a person to represent them at the Policy Council.  The Policy Council is the vehicle by which the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council is advised of policy issues affecting the New Zealand seafood industry.  The Policy Council provides a forum for raising issues of concern to CSOs in relation to the industry

The following are Commercial Stakeholder Organisations:

Aquaculture New Zealand

Aquaculture New Zealand represents the interests of New Zealand’s mussel, salmon and oyster farmers. Formed as a result of the NZ Aquaculture Strategy released in 2006, the organisation was formed in 2007 and is charged with the implementation of the 10 point plan within the strategy.

The New Zealand aquaculture sector is recognised within New Zealand and around the world as producing healthy, high quality, environmentally sustainable aquaculture products.

The goal of the strategy is that by 2025 the New Zealand aquaculture sector will have sales of $1billion in sales.

Aquaculture New Zealand brings together the membership of the still current species bodies, the NZ Mussel Industry Council, the NZ Salmon Famers Association and the NZ Oyster Industry Association.

Based in Nelson, Aquaculture New Zealand represents its stakeholders’ interests at central, regional and local government levels throughout the country. It has also developed and is implementing market development and research strategies to further the growth and development of the industry.

The industry is strongly influenced by its partnership with Maori either as an independent grower, processor or marketer or as a joint venture partner.

Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic animals and plants and as such is not governed by the quota management system, beyond the collection of mussel spat from Ninety Mile beach.. As it is a predominantly coastal industry occupying public space many of the regulatory decisions are made within the Resource Management Act at a regional council level.

The industry has strong working relationships with the relevant food safety and environmental agencies to monitor and maintain the current high environmental and water quality standards so important to the national and international standing of the sector.

Level 1 Wakatu House
Montgomery Square
PO Box 5153 Port Nelson

Ph: +64 3 548 8944

Area 2 Inshore Finfish Management Company Limited
The Area 2 Inshore Finfish Management Company was established to represent fishers and quota owners and to manage and develop the New Zealand inshore fisheries within Quota Management Area 2.

John Reid
PO Box 1304

Ph 03 547 2373
Fax 03 547 2371

Bluff Oyster Management Company Limited
The Bluff Oyster Management Company Limited represents the interests of participants in the Foveaux Strait Dredge Oyster Fishery (OYU5).
The company is involved in research and development aimed at improving oyster stocks in the Foveaux Strait Oyster Fishery. It also works with other stakeholders to develop implement, monitor and administer fishery management rules.

Murray Rankin
P O Box 844

Ph 03 218 6179
Fax 03 218 2238

Challenger Finfisheries Management Company Limited
Carol Scott
PO Box 175
Ph 03 548 0711
Fax 03 548 0783

Challenger Oyster Management Company Limited
Mitch Campbell
PO Box 175

Ph 03 548 0711
Fax 03 548 0783

Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company Limited
Mitch Campbell
P O Box 175
Ph 03 548 0711
Fax 03 548 0783

Coromandel Scallop Fishermen’s Association Inc
The Coromandel Scallop Fishermen’s Association represents the interests of 21 commercial license holders in the controlled Coromandel Peninsula scallop fishery.

Peter Sopp
112 Wattle Place

Ph 07 865 8086
Fax 07 865 7039

Deepwater Group Limited
PO Box 1460

Ph +64 3 545 7020
Fax +64 3 545 7021

Eel Enhancement Company Limited
Tom Hollings
PO Box 90906

Ph 09 378 7001
Fax 09 378 6939

New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen

The New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen, “The Federation”, has become recognised as the national body representing the interests of owner-operators. The Federation represents such fishers’ interests at national, regional and local association levels and, where appropriate, on an individual basis.

Members have been at the forefront of promoting the ‘New Zealandisation’ of the New Zealand Fishing Industry and as such they have increasingly invested in larger and more modern vessels which have assisted in providing more jobs for New Zealanders both afloat and ashore.

The Federation originated in the South Island in 1953 and shortly after spread to the North Island. The Federation is an Incorporated Society currently representing 351 members from 22 Port Associations.

The New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen’s website »

Carol Scott
PO Box 175

Ph 03 548 0711
Fax 03 548 0783

New Zealand Fishing Industry Association Inc
Charles Hufflett
PO Box 5041

Ph 03 545 9650

New Zealand Fishing Industry Guild
The New Zealand Fishing Industry Guild’s Executive and Management is made up of professional practising fishers. Over the years the Guild has had to change its formation to ensure the needs of the industry were covered.
The Guild originated in the 1930’s as an association affiliated to the then Seamen’s Union. But in the early 1950’s the association pulled away and formed the Auckland Share Fishermen’s Association. In 1970 that Association branched out and became the N Z Share Fishermen’s Association, representing share fishermen working on both company and privately owned vessels throughout the country. With the coming of the Labour Government in the 1980’s, to get recognition at Government level and to stop outside intervention the New Zealand Fishing Industry Union was formed and that Union is now known as the New Zealand Fishing Industry Guild Inc.

The Guild is a formally registered Union under the Employment Relations Act 2000 and covers fishermen from every New Zealand fishing port, representing the interests of those fishermen from all sectors of commercial fishing at Government, national and local levels.

Through the Auckland Head Office and the Nelson Branch Office contracts are drawn up between the boat owners, fishermen and engineers. For agreements away from those two centres, the Executive Secretary or the Administration Officer will travel to the ports concerned.

The NZ Fishing Industry Guild is recognised by the major fishing companies as creating a protective buffer zone between the people engaged in the fishing industry and those other organisations and unions whose activities could be detrimental to the every day running of a fishing vessel.

The Guild believes in encouraging the highest standards of safety and efficiency at sea and is involved in the promotion of training opportunities for sea-going personnel. In some cases, they may assist in funding for training courses on a scholarship basis.

The Guild, in conjunction with the companies and owner/operators assists in finding work for financial members seeking employment. There is a “job board” in each office providing a job network nationwide. This is not a guarantee of work but ensures that your name and qualifications are put forward when work is available.

The annual subscription fee is $275 including GST and covers the following services:

A 24 hour, 7 day a week, world wide insurance cover for death and disability through accident is available to all financial members.
They provide a seatime service book free of charge to members on request (a $10 charge applies to non members). These are issued through the Auckland office only on receipt of a passport-sized photo and the necessary information.
The Guild may assist with legal advice for financial members, depending on the circumstances and is at the discretion of the Executive Secretary.
The Guild staff are available Monday to Friday in both Auckland and Nelson offices to assist with member’s enquiries. A seven day a week phone coverage is available through the Executive Secretary and a message service is provided in Auckland.
PO Box 90 212

Ph 09 358 3013
Fax 09 358 3015


New Zealand Oyster Industry Association Ltd
Promoting, Preserving and Protecting Members’ interests.

Tom Hollings
PO Box 90906

Ph 09 378 7001
Fax 09 378 6939
New Zealand Salmon Farmers Association Inc

The New Zealand Salmon industry is represented by the New Zealand Salmon Farmers Association Inc., a voluntary subscription-based organisation comprising of active freshwater and seawater salmon farmers, salmon processors and service suppliers to the industry. It represents growers of over 99% of all salmon farmed in New Zealand.

For more information, visit the NZ Salmon Farmers Association website.

Mark Gillard
PO Box 1180

Ph 03 548 5714
Fax 03 548 6993

New Zealand Seafood Retailers and Wholesalers Association Inc
The New Zealand Seafood Retailers’ & Wholesalers’ Association represents New Zealand’s largest fish retailers and wholesalers, including our largest supermarkets. The Association maintains a presence at SeaFIC policy council, liaises with industry to maintain a focus on domestic market issues and works closely with the Seafood Industry Training Organisation (Seafood ITO) to ensure members can access training where needed.

Michael Laird
PO Box 97430
SAMC 2240

Ph 09 263 9003
Fax 09 263 7705


New Zealand Tuna Management Association Inc
New Zealand Tuna Management Association protects the permit rights/property rights of the Tuna Fishers while being accountable to the members of the association for costs incurred in managing the tuna fishing industry.

They represents stakeholder organisation for all the New Zealand Tuna Fishers in the albacore tuna fishery.

Peter Jones
Private Bag 24901

Ph 04 385 4005
Fax 04 385 2727

New Zealand Rock Lobster Industry Council Limited

The resources of the NZ Rock Lobster Industry Council are freely available to all rock lobster industry personnel who belong to a CRAMAC and/or pay Seafood Commodity Levies on rock lobster. For a list of CRAMAC representatives and contact details please phone/fax or email the NZ RLIC.
NZ RLIC Statement of Intent

To ensure that all legitimate extractive users have fair and equitable access to rock lobster fisheries and fishing grounds;
To manage and control commercial harvests within the constraints of the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) and the provisions of Fisheries legislation;
To maximise the economic and social benefits able to be derived by the industry from the available harvesting opportunities;
To respect and protect the rights of individuals whilst acknowledging individual and collective responsibilities and obligations.
Daryl Sykes
Private Bag 24-901

Ph 04 385 4005
Fax 04 385 2727

Helen Regan
Private Bag 24-901

Ph 04 385 4005
Fax 04 385 2727


The Northern Fisheries Management Stakeholder Company Ltd

Company Overview

The Northern Fisheries Management Stakeholder Company Limited (“TNFMSCL”) is an established stakeholder group created from the amalgamation of The Snapper 8 Company Limited, The Pagrus Auratus Company Limited and The Northern Inshore Fisheries Company Limited.

Company Representation

TNFMSCL represents the interests of quota owners of inshore quota stocks in Fisheries Management Area’s 1, 8 and 9, from the tip of the North Island, down the Auckland (West) coast and continues down the Central (West) coast almost to Wellington, and from the tip of the North Island, down the Auckland (East) coast to Cape Runaway. Any person owning any individual transferable quota for species taken from FMA 1, 8 and 9 is entitled to be a shareholder of the Company. Including any individual transferable quota for Snapper, Flatfish, Rig, Alfonsino, Grey Mullet, Gemfish, Cardinal, Hake, Silver Warehou, Rubyfish, Blue Warehou, White Warehou, John Dory, Gurnard, School Shark, Sea Perch, Trumpeter, Elephant Fish, Frost Fish, Pale Ghost Shark, Moki, Tarakihi, Ling, Hapuku, Bass, Bluenose, Ribaldo, Blue Cod, Leatherjacket, Parore, Porae, Red Cod, Red Snapper, Stargazer, Rough Skate, Smooth Skate, Garfish, King Crab, Deepwater Red Crab, Giant Spider Crab, Ribaldo, Spiny Dogfish, and Kingfish.

Mission Statement

“TNFMSCL shall be a strong, mandated body that will represent its shareholders to protect and enhance their property rights, recognising the value of each fishery it represents. The Company shall act, to the best of it’s ability, responsibly and efficiently in all aspects of the fishery with the ultimate goal being achieving and maintaining healthy fisheries, biologically and economically, so the resource may continue to provide abundant yields now, and in the future.”

Vaughan Wilkinson
PO Box 443

Ph 09 379 4720
Fax 09 300 3175

The ORH1 Exploratory Fishing Company Ltd
Milan Barbarich
PO Box 632

Ph 09 276 0888
Fax 09 276 1744
PAU2 Industry Association Incorporated
The Paua 2 Industry Association was formed in 1999 to represent the interests of PAU2 quota owners and ACE holders, to protect and grow the property rights of PAU2 quota owners, and to preserve and expand access to areas within PAU2. Its members include quota shareholders, ACE holders and divers. The Association is a shareholder in both the Paua Industry Council Ltd. (PICL) and the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council (SeaFIC).
Tony Craig
C/- Seafood Industry Council
Private Bag 24-901
Wellington 6142
Ph 04 802 1510

PAU3 Industry Association Incorporated
David Rae
PO Box 153

Ph/Fax 03 319 5289
PAUAMAC4 Industry Association Incorporated
Gary Cameron
PO Box 156
Chatham Islands

Ph/Fax 03 305 0310

PAU5 Industry Association Incorporated
Storm Stanley
PO Box 495

Ph 03 577 8846
PAUAMAC7 Industry Association
Alan Drake
PO Box 637

Pelagic and Tuna NZ Ltd
Greg Johansson
PO Box 443
Auckland 1104

Ph 09 300 8433
Fax 09 309 1190
Scampi Fishery Development Company Limited
Vaughan Wilkinson
PO Box 443

Ph 09 379 4720
Fax 09 300 3175

South East Finfish Management Company Ltd
The South East Finfish Management Company represents over 94% of all quota owned in Quota Management Areas 3 and 5.
The company is a Commercial Stakeholder Organisation (CSO) representing finfish quota owners in the south east of New Zealand and is a shareholder of SeaFIC. The company engages in fisheries management consultation and advocacy and also direct purchase of research in support of the fisheries that it represents.

Pete Dawson
P O Box 43


Seafood Innovations

Seafood Innovations Ltd was established as a joint venture research consortium company by the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council and Plant & Food (the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited) to promote research relating to the seafood industry in New Zealand. FRST (the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology) is a cornerstone investor in the company on behalf of the New Zealand Government.

Seafood Innovations Ltd encourages and provides funding support for innovative research and development within the seafood industry, with the aim of adding value to the sector.

For more information about research ventures and funding visit Seafood Innovations website or contact Tony Hadfield.


Seafood Standards Council

The Seafood Standards Council is an official committee of the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council in cooperation with the New Zealand Food Safety Authority. It is primarily concerned with the assurance of food safety and market access for seafood produced in New Zealand. Acting as an advisory council to industry and Government, it is this country’s officially recognised technical authority in:

Setting standards of seafood safety
Specifying competence and diligence requirements
Identifying training requirements and facilitating the provision of training
Keeping the industry well informed on seafood safety
Developing negotiating strategies for access to overseas markets
Providing policy advice to Government and industry organisations on seafood safety.
For more information visit the Seafood Standards Council website »


Trade & International Policy

Important information for exporters
Notification of Significant Changes to Seafood Export Customs and Tariff Export Recording

As from 1 January 2012, widespread changes to the international Harmonised System of Customs Classification of seafood products in international trade (HS 2012) will come into force. The changes were agreed to in the World Customs Organisation in 2009, of which New Zealand is a member.

Please download the documents below for further information.

Customs Tariff Change Letter 303kB
2012 Correlation Key 234kB
The International arena
Obligations to ensure the protection and responsible utilisation of fish stocks extend beyond our territorial seas. New Zealand is a signatory to treaties that require international sustainable management of fish stocks.
International interest in and respect for the Quota Management System has increased liaison with other fishing nations with an interest in managing wild resources sustainably, as well as managing access to marine resources.

The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council has worked closely with government agencies to support an expert, technical review in the World Trade Organisation of the impact of subsidies on the international trade in fish and fish products. Open and liberal trading conditions are essential for the economic well being of the New Zealand seafood industry because such a large proportion of its revenue comes from exports.


Seafood ITO

The seafood industry has a growing demand for skilled and competent people throughout the industry, from operators to managers.

The Seafood Industry Training Organisation (Seafood ITO) facilitates competence-based training across all areas of the industry, including both industry-specific training, such as seafood processing and more general training, eg management and information technology skills. Seafood ITO does this by:

working closely with the industry to develop and maintain seafood training standards and qualifications
accessing government training funds for the industry
co-ordinating training providers to meet the training needs of companies
working with individual companies to analyse and meet training needs
Identifying current and future skill needs for the industry and developing training strategies to meet those needs.
A Maori caucus within Seafood ITO, made up of representatives of Te Ohu Kai Moana develop key policy issues for Maori in seafood industry training.

For detailed information about the Seafood Industry Training Organisation visit the Seafood ITO website. Or contact Seafood ITO on:
ph: +64 4 385 4005
fax: +64 4 385 2727



The role of the communications team is to promote and protect the seafood industry’s reputation by:

Promoting the industry’s environmental record by showing the industry’s sustainability and economic contribution.
Providing consumers with ways to handle and prepare seafood.
Demonstrating the seafood’s value proposition to consumers in terms of price, health benefits, and environmental performance.
We actively engage with the education sector to build and distribute lesson plans around sustainability and the role of a sustainable seafood industry in providing jobs and contributing to New Zealand’s prosperity.
We represent the seafood sector’s interests with government, media and other organisations.
We enable industry to have a collective voice and deliver clear and consistent messages about our industry to the public to ensure that they are aware of our industry practices and standards which are in place to achieve and maintain sustainability.

For any media and communications enquiries, please contact:

Sid Pickering
Communications Advisor
Phone: 04 802 1518
Mobile: 027 293 2321