What is FoNZ

Fisheries of New Zealand (FoNZ) is a tool that provides an up-to-date, accessible resource for fisheries managers, scientists and others who require information on the patterns and changes in commercial fishing activities in New Zealand.

It uses the extensive data collected in support of the Quota Management System (QMS) to provide a graphical characterisation of New Zealand's fisheries.

It is hierarchical, providing both an aggregate "bird's eye" view of New Zealand's fisheries and the ability to drill-down to obtain detailed summaries for specific segments of commercial fishing activity.

Why was is created?

Fisheries of New Zealand is intended primarily as a reference. It provides graphical summaries of data from New Zealand's fisheries but does not attempt to answer the many "why" questions that arise when examining these summaries.

    Fisheries of New Zealand focusses on:
  • segmenting the data in ways that reflect the underlying structure of commercial fishing activities; and
  • providing a consistent set of summaries of the patterns and trends in the data that are applied to contrasting fishing activities.

There are numerous and diverse causes for the changes seen in the data summaries including regulatory, economic and biological drivers. Fisheries of New Zealand is not intended as a scientific assessment of any of the fisheries included and does not provide explanatory analyses of the reasons for the patterns and changes seen. The factors affecting commercial fishing activities vary from area to area, species to species and method to method. For some segments descriptive text of the recent trends is included.

How does it work?

Segment hierarchies

Fisheries of New Zealand uses three contrasting approaches to summarize commercial fishing data into different segment types:

  • Activity: a group of fishing trips with similar methods, target species, locations and/or catch compositions
  • Fleet: a group of fishing vessel-years with similar attributes, and/or activities
  • Stock: a group of Fishstocks with similar taxonomy and/or habitat

Each type of segment provides a natural basis for looking at different types of data:

  • Activities are the most appropriate basis for summarising changes in fishing methods, target species, areas and catches;
  • Fleets are the most appropriate basis for summarising changes in vessel specifications such as length and age;
  • Stocks provide the most appropriate basis for looking at aspects such as changes in quota ownership and ACE holdings.

Fisheries of New Zealand uses a hierarchy within each type of segment. This provides for summaries at various levels of data aggregation and allows the user to drill down to the level of detail that is of interest.

a screen grab of the expanding sidebar menu on the summaries page

Understanding the graphical summaries

Explanatory notes are provided for each graph, accessed by clicking on the "i" icon in the graph title. These notes include important warnings that the user should be aware of when interpreting the summaries.

Navigating Fisheries of New Zealand

To use Fisheries of New Zealand effectively you need to understand three basic aspects of the main Summaries page:

  • The pane labelled Segments at the left of the main Summaries page provides an expandable, hierarchical view of the three data segment types.
  • Implementation of this hierarchical view means that you should not use your browser's forward and back buttons.
  • The different segment types have different graphical summaries, some of which are provided via a number of different views. The different views are accessed via the tabs above the graphs:
    • Each Activities segment has a Patterns view which summarises data across years, and a Changes view which shows trends over time. A Links view provides shortcuts to related segments;
    • Each Fleet segment has only a single view;
    • Each Stock segment which refers to a unique Quota Management System stock has an Overview and a separate view on Quota, ACE, prices.
a sreenshot of the header on the summaries page a sreenshot of the header on the summaries page

The Data

Fisheries of New Zealand summarises statutory data collected by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). Fisheries of New Zealand seeks to adhere to MPI guidelines for the use and publication of these data. As a result, some catch and catch rate information is censored (blacked out) in the Fisheries of New Zealand data summaries. This occurs where an insufficient number of vessels and/or permit holders are represented in a particular calculation. Please provide feedback if you have concerns about data confidentiality and privacy in Fisheries of New Zealand.


If you would like to refer to summaries presented in Fisheries of New Zealand you can use the following citation:

Kahawai Collective (2023) Fisheries of New Zealand, 1989/90-2022/23. Retrieved from http://fonz.kahawai.org.nz.

Providing feedback

Feedback on any aspect of the Fisheries of New Zealand website can be sent to fonz@kahawai.org.nz.