December 2012
Read the final report for project POP2011-03 Protected fish - review of interactions and populations.

White pointer shark bycatch. Photo: DOC.
White pointer shark bycatch


Eight fish species are currently protected in New Zealand fisheries waters: spotted black grouper (Epinephelus daemelii), white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), spinetail devilray (Mobula japanica), manta ray (Manta birostris), whale shark(Rhincodon typus), deepwater nurse shark (Odontaspis ferox), giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) and basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus).

This study documents and describes their interactions with commercial fisheries in New Zealand waters, and locates and describes the available population information relevant to assessing the risk to these species. Information on the catches of protected species was obtained from the literature, commercial catch statistics, and observer records. Data were groomed to remove many records that had been incorrectly assigned protected species codes.

For each species, the catch distribution, seasonality, fishing method, and reported totals were described. Population and biological characteristics were reviewed under the categories: stock identification, biological productivity, species overlap with fisheries, and response of the species to exploitation.

Publication information

Authors: Malcolm P. Francis and Warrick S. Lyon, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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