The Fisheries Act 1983 originally controlled access to the fishing industry by a pure permit regime. The Fisheries Amendment Act 1986 introduced a quota management system, which limited the quantity of fish that could be extracted from any fishery during a fishing season. The integrity of the quota management scheme is dependent on returns, which are checked by reference to other documents completed and filed by various participants in the fishing industry. Commercial fishers are required to report all fish caught and landed/sold. They are allowed to sell only to Licensed Fish Receivers, who also are required to report their purchases to the Ministry of Fisheries (previously the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries ("MAF")).
Various species have from time to time been brought into the quota system.
The regime of cost recovery levies was introduced under the Fisheries Amendment Act 1994. It introduced a process whereby commercial fishermen were required to pay management costs incurred in enabling commercial fishing to take place.
The Fisheries Act 1996 has gradually replaced the 1983 Act, but the main control structure is much the same.
Other relevant ActsEdit
The most recent significant legislation was the Maori Fisheries Act 2004, which finally codified the results of 154 years of agreements, disagreements, conferences, and court cases involving the rightful share that the indigenous race (and the 50-odd tribes that make it up) should have in the fisheries assets.