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New Zealand tops global fisheries research

Hon Phil Heatley
Minister of Fisheries

15 November 2009
Media Statement

New Zealand tops global fisheries research

A comprehensive international fisheries science assessment has rated New Zealand the world’s top performing country for managing its marine and fishery resources, Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley announced today

Mr Heatley applauded New Zealand receiving the highest aggregate score in research that evaluated 53 maritime countries on their performance against 14 indicators of marine resource management. These countries account for over 95 per cent of the world’s fisheries landed catch.

The research has just been published in the leading ocean studies journal Marine Policy and follows other recent research published in the respected journal Science, which also rated New Zealand as having world-leading fisheries management practices.

“We can all take credit for being regarded internationally as leading the world in many aspects of marine resource management,” Mr Heatley said.

“Our high ratings in respect of marine mammal protection and lack of industry subsidies are particularly gratifying.

“All stakeholders in fisheries management: the Ministry of Fisheries, commercial, customary and recreational fishers, can justifiably be proud of this outcome.”

Mr Heatley said that while the results of the research were encouraging, there was much work to be done.

“We cannot afford to be rest on our laurels. The research indicated areas where our performance was exceptional as well as opportunities for improvement.

“We must move forward with our world-class fisheries management practices. The Fisheries 2030 programme will ensure improvements as all fisheries stakeholders work towards the same goal: New Zealanders maximising benefits from the use of fisheries within environmental limits,” Mr Heatley said.

The news comes as many of the countries that feature prominently in the findings have just finished gathering in Auckland at the eighth international meeting to negotiate a South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. The meeting succeeded in concluding a treaty to manage non-highly-migratory fish resources of the high seas.

For the most recent research, see

For the July 2009 research see


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