National Blue Cod Strategy

We're working on a National Blue Cod Strategy. Find out about the strategy and how you can help us develop it.

Watch our video (1:01)

Some of the footage for this video is credited to Alan Drake.

[Ministry for Primary Industries logo appears with the tagline 'Shared sustainable fisheries for the future'. The title 'National blue cod strategy' appears. An underwater shot can be seen in the background.]

[Single blue cod swimming underwater]

Blue cod. It's been a Kiwi icon for generations and we all want it to stay that way.

[Lots of blue cod and kina underwater]

In some areas they're doing well, but in other areas they're under stress.

[Blue cod in pots with captions of stress factors]

Due to a lot of fishing, a changing environment, and a unique biology.

[Shot of the shore, taken from a boat in the water]

The Ministry for Primary Industries is developing a national strategy so we can address the issues in a joined up way.

[Fisher pulls up a blue cod pot. Blue cod swim underwater. Shot goes back to boat. The words appear: 'We want to hear from you']

But we can't do it on our own. We want your help. You know what's happening in your backyard and we need your ideas to make the strategy work.

[Fisher on boat measuring blue cod]

There are lots of ways you can have your say.

Visit our website to learn more and share your thoughts.

[ web address appears on the screen]

[Fisher pulling up blue cod, fisher walking along the beach]

Together, we can ensure blue cod fisheries remain sustainable and abundant for everyone.

[Call to action appears with the web address: . Blue cod swim in the background]

[Ministry for Primary Industries logo appears again with the tagline 'Shared sustainable fisheries for the future']

[End transcript]

What's the plan?

Fisheries New Zealand wants a National Blue Cod Strategy to review all aspects of the blue cod fishery across the whole of New Zealand.

But we're starting with the South Island so we can deal with some priority management concerns.

Progress so far 

Flow chart with 6 consultation stages (including workshops, meetings and surveys)
to guide development of a National Blue Cod Strategy. The current stage is stage 4 – 'Wider engagement 2'

A flow chart of the public consultation process to guide development of the National Blue Cod Strategy.

Stages listed in chronological order

Expert Workshop 1 (completed)
  • Develop aim and objectives
  • Develop online survey 1
Wider Engagement 1 (completed)

Do you agree with the experts? Tell us about your fishery!

  • Online survey 1
  • Face-to-face meetings
Expert Workshop 2 (completed)
  • Review wider feedback
  • Problems and solutions
  • Develop online survey 2
Wider Engagement 2 (completed)

Have we got it right? Have we missed anything?

  • Online survey 2
  • Face-to-face meetings
Expert Workshop 3 (current stage)
  • Review wider feedback
  • Draft the strategy document
National Blue Cod Strategy
  • Finalised and implemented

[end image description]

Results of first round of public feedback

Photo by Malcom Francis
Photo: Malcolm Francis

In September 2017, MPI ran a nationwide online survey and held information meetings in the South Island (Wider Engagement 1). We wanted to find out what people thought:

  • of their local blue cod fisheries
  • were the major issues in their local blue cod fisheries
  • about the strategy's aim and objectives that were developed during the first expert workshop.





Download information distributed at the drop-in meetings [PDF, 4 MB]

Some key results

  • In general, the feedback indicated that blue cod fisheries in most areas are doing okay. However, it also suggested there are issues in some areas that need to be resolved.
  • The aim and objectives of the strategy were widely supported, including by 90% of the survey respondents.
  • Some of the main concerns nationally were recreational daily bag limits, total allowable commercial catch, released fish mortality, illegal take, and localised depletion.
  • The issues facing the blue cod fishery differ regionally, highlighting the different stresses facing local blue cod fisheries throughout the country.
  • More than 85% of respondents to the online survey were recreational fishers.

Find out more

A summary of the key findings [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Full report – results and feedback from Wider Engagement 1 [PDF, 7.4 MB]

Developing the options

On 17 October 2017, MPI held the second expert workshop in Christchurch. The purpose of the workshop was to:

  • review the results from Wider Engagement 1
  • begin developing options to achieve the aims and objectives of the strategy.

Results of second round of public feedback

Over 4 weeks in March and April 2018, we ran a second nationwide online survey and held more information meetings around the South Island, and one in Wellington (Wider Engagement 2).

We wanted to:

  • discuss the results of first round of engagement
  • find out what people thought of the proposals developed by the expert group
  • check whether we had missed anything that needed to be included.

Download posters presented at the drop-in sessions [PDF, 5.3 MB]

Some key results

  • 150 people attended the 9 information sessions.
  • 1,182 responses received for the second online survey from all over New Zealand.
  • In general, the majority of respondents were very supportive of the proposals.

We received strong support for the proposals in the strategy to address:

  • slow decision making
  • lack of education around blue cod's unique biology
  • current inconsistency in management approaches between areas
  • recreational rules (current bag limits and filleting at sea)
  • environmental impacts
  • lack of recreational catch data and fine-scale commercial data.

The strategy is currently being finalised and will be released in the coming months.

Find out more

A summary of the key findings 2 [PDF, 971 KB]

Full report – results and feedback from Wider Engagement 2 [PDF, 9.9 MB]

Blue cod species and stock status information

Want to know more about blue cod in your fishery area? 

Stay informed

You can keep up-to-date on our progress with the strategy on this web page or:

Or follow one of our recreational fisheries Facebook pages:

Who to contact

If you have questions about the blue cod strategy, email

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