Role of Military‎ > ‎

EEZ Management

The object of EEZ management is to impose the rule of New Zealand law on resources we are responsible for so that they can be managed sustainably.

New Zealand's commercial fishery has an estimated value of about $2 billion per annum. The Fisheries 2030 strategy is here. It is, in essence, a long "to do" list for policy. 

There are 1,500 commercial fishing vessels in New Zealand. Most are small motor boats. A few are ocean going trawlers. About 80% of the commercial return is from the eight largest companies. 

This map shows the areas of fishing concentration.

To explore the whole New Zealand fishery visit the Nabis site.

New Zealand's very large EEZ can be managed by civilian processes but enforcement requires physical reach. Civilian processes mean placing observers or monitoring cameras on board licensed fishing vessels.  Civilian processes could also involve over-flight and management. 

Civilian processes work where vessels operate within the law. Not all do. Policing the sea is nothing like as simple as policing the land.  The ocean is large and ships are small - especially when one includes the toothfish fishery in the Ross Sea. Many Asian fishing boats operate almost slave labour like conditions and one  cannot expect much honour from their owners.

Obviously fishing vessels are not military vessels. It does not require a battle management system to deal with them. What is required however is the ability to board, and at times, ram such vessels to stop them. That simply requires mass, height and some well placed fire-fighting hoses. It may also involve helicopters.

The HMNZS Wellington turned out to be too small to do more to toothfish poachers in the Southern ocean than take their numbers, something any observation aircraft could have done.