Management of Antarctic fisheries

Find out more about fisheries in the Southern Ocean, New Zealand's role, and fisheries management.

International fisheries in the Southern Ocean

The Antarctic Treaty System allows fishing in the Southern Ocean, but has a strong focus on conservative and precautionary management of the fish stocks.

The principles of management for Antarctic fisheries are set out in the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. These principles are implemented by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

New Zealand’s role

New Zealand’s government permits fishing companies to fish in Antarctic fisheries in the Ross Sea. It is also committed to working within CCAMLR’s management framework, to ensure the high quality of fisheries management and to develop protected areas.

New Zealand's involvement with the Antarctic Treaty System and CCAMLR is managed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Government funds allocated to scientific research to support the process are administered by the Ministry of Primary Industries.

What does the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources do?


Management of the Ross Sea toothfish fishery

Several recent papers and media releases have questioned how robust the scientific basis for CCAMLR’s fisheries management system is, including that for Ross Sea toothfish. The wider CCAMLR community addressed those concerns, and some misconceptions, in the paper below.