Stock Assessment Process

Science working groups meet regularly to evaluate research and to contribute to the assessment of fish stocks. The Ministry for Primary Industries Science Working Groups cover a wide range of sector interests including deepwater, shellfish, middle-depth, Antarctic fisheries, Northern and Southern inshore, highly migratory species, rock lobster, eel, stock assessment methods and fisheries data. The role of the working groups is advisory only. Membership of the working groups is open to all interested parties and usually includes representatives of commercial fishing interests and occasionally recreational fishing and environmental interests.

Most of the working groups focus on the assessment of fish stocks. They each prepare a report, which includes information on fishing interests in the stock, sustainability issues and estimates of stock size. These reports are incorporated into a fisheries assessment plenary report. 1876  Two plenary reports are produced each year: 1877

  • The May Fisheries Plenary Report summarises fishery, biological, stock assessment and stock status information for 83 of New Zealand’s commercial fish species or species groups in a series of Working Group or Plenary reports. Each species or species group is split into 1-10 stocks for management purposes.
  • A mid-year Plenary is produced each November for species that operate on different management cycles and includes 18 Working Group and Plenary summaries for Highly Migratory Species, Antarctic toothfish, rock lobster, scallops and dredge oysters.

More recently, working groups have focused on protected species and environmental effects, contributing to the Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review. This provides a summary of interactions between fishing and the marine environment and other relevant information for fisheries management. The review also assesses the current status against specified targets or limits. 1878


  2. Ministry for Primary Industries, 2014

  3. Ministry for Primary Industries, 2013b

Last updated at 3:38PM on November 23, 2017