Southland's coastline covers approximately 3,150km of deep, cool southern waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone and contains a wide variety of species.

Blue cod and crayfish (Spiny Rock lobster) are Southland's most common commercial fishing species, and Southland's paua (abalone) fishery is the second largest in New Zealand.

The main fishing methods in Southland are crayfish and cod potting, oyster dredging, trawling, set netting, handlines and diving. Seafood exports account for around 90% of the seafood industry revenue and it consistently ranks as the country's fourth or fifth largest export earner.

Find out more about the New Zealand fishing industry here


Aquaculture refers to the 'farming' of fish and shellfish. In Southland, this is mainly mussel and salmon farming as well as the rapidly developing farmed oyster industry.

The majority of marine farming in Southland is conducted in Big Glory Bay, Stewart Island with some onshore paua hatchery activities being undertaken at both Stewart Island and Ocean Beach near Bluff. For more information on New Zealand Aquaculture, visit