How much fish do recreational marine fishers catch?

June 21, 2020
The latest National Panel Survey to estimate recreational catch found that New Zealanders land around 10,000 tonnes of fish per annum. This survey was conducted nationwide by Fisheries New Zealand between 1 October 2017 and 30 September 2018. The previous Survey was conducted in 2011-12. Excluding aquaculture, the Fisheries New Zealand research reveals that annual recreational fishing harvest represents –
  1. Around 3% of total harvest from New Zealand marine waters, including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
  2. Around 19% of total harvest from the inshore fisheries of interest to the public.
Total commercial harvest from all New Zealand waters is over 400,000 tonnes per annum. The Panel Survey recruits 1% of all recreational fishers using proven survey methods and tracks their fishing and catch for a whole year. These results are particularly robust for larger fisheries where there is good data on the number of fishers, popular methods, the mean weight of fish and the number of fish landed per person. As in 2012, the most popular landed catch was –
  1. Snapper.
  2. Kahawai.
  3. Blue cod.
In 2018 around half of all recreational fishing occurred on the North Island’s northeast coast between North Cape and East Cape. The National Panel Survey delivered credible results that have been corroborated by two independent surveys in key fisheries. These surveys by NIWA and NRB have been peer reviewed by a panel of international experts which rated them highly. National Panel Survey 2017-18 – full report