Ministry of Fisheries (New Zealand)
The Ministry of Fisheries (Māori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

: Te Tautiaki i nga tini a Tangaroa), also known by its acronym MFish, is a state sector organisation
State sector organisations in New Zealand
Public sector organisations in New Zealand include the State sector plus the organisations of local government.Within the State sector lies the State services, and within this, lies the core Public service....

 of New Zealand whose role is ensuring the sustainable utilisation of fisheries. This involves conserving, using, enhancing and developing New Zealand's fisheries resources. New Zealand's Minister of Fisheries is the Hon. Phil Heatley. The Ministry's 2008/09 operating budget is $94.5 million .


The Ministry of Fisheries was established as a stand-alone agency in 1995, after a major
governmental review of fisheries legislation, as well as ongoing reforms in the New Zealand State Sector. Previously, responsibility for fisheries belonged to MAF, New Zealand's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, which later became New Zealand's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry when the Ministry of Forestry merged with the remaining Ministry of Agriculture in 1998.


The Ministry is primarily responsible for fisheries management
Fisheries management
Fisheries management draws on fisheries science in order to find ways to protect fishery resources so sustainable exploitation is possible. Modern fisheries management is often referred to as a governmental system of appropriate management rules based on defined objectives and a mix of management...

 within New Zealand's 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) Exclusive Economic Zone
Exclusive Economic Zone
Under the law of the sea, an exclusive economic zone is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including production of energy from water and wind. It stretches from the seaward edge of the state's territorial sea out to 200 nautical...

 (EEZ). It tries to ensure that fisheries are sustainably used within a healthy aquatic ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

, and employs approximately 432 staff throughout New Zealand, most of who police fisheries to ensure compliance with the conservation and access/allocation rules, set by Government. MFish also undertakes fisheries research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

 to provide information needed to determine how many fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 and other marine organisms (of various species) can be safely taken while ensuring the sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

of the resource.

External links

  • Official website
  • NZ Fisheries InfoSite - It provides information on our fisheries and marine environment, explains how fisheries are managed for long-term sustainability, and describes New Zealands fisheries in a global context.
  • NABIS - Provides spatial & visual representations of New Zealand marine biological & fisheries management data.
  • Starfish - An online learning resource for teachers and students.
  • Fishing Rules - Provides fishing rules for the New Zealand recreational fishery management areas.
  • New Zealand Fisheries Management Research Database - Available for research & analysis of NZ fisheries management information.
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