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The bounty of our waters has been an important resource throughout human history in New Zealand. Recreational fishing is widespread, Māori have customary fishing rights, and in 2008, the commercial fishing industry had an estimated value of $3.97 billion.
New Zealand has the fourth largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the world, which extends to 200 nautical miles (over 350km) from the coastline. The EEZ is over 14 times larger than the terrestrial land mass and is home to over 1,000 species of fish, 110 of which are native to New Zealand. Also, there are approximately 34 species of native freshwater fish, 19 of which were introduced for commercial and recreational fishing.
The fisheries resource account aims to provide a tool to inform the sustainable management strategies employed for this resource. New Zealand fisheries are managed through a quota management system, which sets maximum catches for a number of species to maintain the productive levels of fish populations.