Commercial Fishing in New Zealand

To become a commercial fisher in New Zealand, you need to be aware of how the Quota Management System works and your legal obligations under the Fisheries Act 1996. The first thing you need to do is become a client of FishServe. This will then enable you to apply for a fishing permit, register your fishing vessel and obtain some annual catch entitlement (ACE) and/or quota shares.

If you intend to fish for quota species, you need to obtain some ACE. ACE is generated from quota shares.

Once you have a fishing permit you will be required to report your fishing activity (or inactivity) on fishing returns. You need to be aware of your reporting obligations which will depend on the nature of your fishing operation. You also need to be aware of the fees involved in being a commercial fisher.

In March 2014 FishServe introduced a 'System re-development Levy' to fund the re-build of the computer system used to run our registry services.  The current system was originally built in 2000/01 and is now in need of replacement.

The levy amounts to approximately $300,000 per annum and will run for up to 7 years.  As has always been our practice, we will endeavour to remove the levy as quickly as possible.  The levy is charged to clients on the basis of the volume of their activity with FishServe.  This is calculated by each client paying a % of the levy equal to the percentage that they pay towards FishServe current charges.

For example:   a client currently paying 0.5% of FishServe's current charges will also pay 0.5% of the new levy.