Clean, healthy, diverse and delicious, New Zealand seafood is full of natural goodness.

EEZ seamount closures

New Zealand is a small, remote, natural paradise, with an abundance of seafood. Recently it became one of only two countries to achieve a top ranking in a review of fisheries management systems around the world and in a second study was ranked first among the 53 major fishing nations for managing marine resources.

The industry continues to invest considerable resources into the research and development of innovative practices, fishery enhancement, environmental protection and efficient production systems.


The New Zealand Quota Management System (NZQMS) ensures the long-term sustainability of our fish stocks and the health of our marine eco-systems.

New Zealand is a world leader in fisheries management and supports an industry based on sustainable harvest and environmental principles. Rigorous fishing controls are enforced in New Zealand waters, including the highly effective Quota Management System (QMS) - the cornerstone of the New Zealand fishing industry.

Of some 130 species fished commercially within New Zealand waters, 100 are currently managed through the QMS. This system was introduced in 1986 and ensures the long term sustainability of our individual fish stocks, the health of our marine eco-systems and the gainful employment of over 26,000 hardworking New Zealanders.

The New Zealand QMS controls the total commercial catch for virtually all the main fish stocks found within New Zealand’s 200 nautical miles EEZ via the direct control of harvest levels for each species in nominated geographical areas. A fish species can consist of numerous geographically isolated and biologically distinct populations.  Each fish species in the QMS is subdivided into separate fish stocks defined by Quota Management Areas (QMAs). The 100 species (or species groupings) subject to the QMS are divided into 636 separate stocks.  Each stock is managed independently to help ensure the sustainable utilisation of that fishery.


With access to over 4 million square kilometers of marine fisheries waters, ranging over 30 degrees of latitude from the sub-tropical Kermadec Islands to the sub-Antarctic Campbell Islands, New Zealand has the fourth largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the world.

MSC Certified

The MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing is the standard that a fishery must meet to become certified. Only seafood from an MSC certified fishery can carry 

MSC cert crop

The overarching principles that a fishery must meet:the blue MSC eco-label. 

  •  Sustainable fish stocks
  •  Minimising environmental impact
  •  Effective management