Every day New Zealand’s marine environment is being utilised by a wide variety of vessels. These include fishing boats, foreign cargo vessels, oil tankers, cruise ships and pleasure craft. Vessels transport the majority of New Zealand’s import and export goods. They underpin the commercial fishing industry. They also enable extensive recreational activity along our coasts.

Each year there is a vast array of vessels visiting New Zealand waters, including: 2846  

  • Six million passengers use harbour and Cook Strait ferries to get to work and go on holiday;
  • 1.3 million people take to the water in 960,000 recreational craft;
  • More than 30 cruise ships making 100 voyages and 700 port calls;
  • More than 800 foreign cargo vessels make almost 99% of New Zealand’s trade (by volume);
  • Over 1,500 commercial fishing vessels operate around our coastline, generating $1.7 billion in export earnings;
  • 12 million tonnes of oil and 4 million tonnes of freight is transported around our coastline;
  • Approximately 4,000 staff go to work in our offshore industries extracting and exploring for oil, gas and mineral sands;
  • Around 250 land, sea and air incidents require a coordinated rescue effort;
  • A marine industry with an annual turnover of $16 billlion and exports of $652 million.

Ukrainian Fishing Vessel (Credit: Raewyn Peart)


Last updated at 4:15PM on February 9, 2018