Meet the Fishermen World of New Zealand

Meet the Fishermen World of New Zealand

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Fishing has always been a big part of New Zealand’s history. When the first Europeans settlers started arriving in in the 18th century, they found that the Māori had already been successfully fishing the waters off the coast of New Zealand for thousands of years. The Māori used traditional techniques that produced enough fish to feed their families.

The first European fishermen to try their luck in the New Zealand seas were mainly sealers and whalers. These fishermen were ruthless killers that cared little for the conservation of the marine life they so thoughtlessly butchered. By the late 19th century, the fur seal in New Zealand was on the brink of extinction.

Luckily, the late 19th century and early 20th century saw the passing of laws to protect the marine life in New Zealand’s waters, allowing some animals that were in serious trouble to start rebuilding their populations. By the mid-20th century, the New Zealand fisheries were teeming with life and providing a nicely sustainable living for the fishermen who lived in the country.

Unfortunately, this situation was threatened in the 1960s by the arrival of foreign fishing fleets from countries like Japan, Taiwan, China and the Soviet Union. These countries had huge commercial fishing boats that would quickly decimate the fish population in the areas they exploited. This situation was remedied by the 1977 creation of 200-mile exclusive economic zones. This allowed countries around the world to have the exclusive rights to control any economic activity in the waters that surrounded their shores for a radius of 200 miles.

These days the commercial fishing off the coast of New Zealand is a huge success story. The fish populations have recovered nicely and are very healthy in most cases. In fact, they are so healthy that New Zealand’s fishermen catch so many fish that they are able to export 90% of their catch to other countries for a healthy revenue stream.

Non-Commercial Fishermen of New Zealand

These healthy fish populations make ocean fishing a dream off the coast of New Zealand. However, the interior of the country provides some amazing opportunities for fishermen as well. Fishermen can pack their sleeping bags and head out for some of the best fishing trips in the world in the backcountry of New Zealand.

Time To Let Go Dunedin
New Zealand fishing_setev / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The lakes and rivers of New Zealand are teeming with fish. The salmon fishing is very good in many of the rivers. The best trout fishing in the world is considered by many to be found in New Zealand. Brown trout and rainbow trout are found here in huge numbers, and they grow to big sizes that make for many trophy-worth fish. Anyone who wants a great fishing experience will find it in New Zealand.