Seafood processing is worth $99 million to the Northland economy, according to a Berl report commissioned by an industry lobby group.

It was also responsible for 92 direct full-time jobs, 134 indirect jobs and 55 jobs because of the money earned by those employees.

This was in addition to the value to the Northland region of commercial fishing activity itself.

Nationally, the seafood industry has a total value of $4.18 billion.


Fisheries Inshore New Zealand chief executive Jeremy Helson said the report confirmed the importance of commercial fishing, and particularly for regions like Northland.

"The Ministry for Primary Industries said exports alone are expected to reach $2.3b by 2025. Add the contribution to the domestic market through jobs, investment in infrastructure and the sectors supporting the industry and you have a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy."

The report, which measured a five-year average, showed 13,468 people were directly employed in fishing and seafood processing alone, which is 0.7 per cent of all New Zealand employment.

Seafood is New Zealand's fifth largest export by value and represents 3.2 per cent of total exports.

The report included fishing and seafood processing but excludes aquaculture which has revenues of another $500m.

"In the inshore fishery, snapper is the top commercial catch and rock lobster and paua the highest value shellfish species," Mr Helson said.

The largest deep water commercial catch was of hoki and this species alone accounts for 38 per cent of the deep water fisheries value.

The seafood processing industry (excluding aquaculture) is a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy and employed 9356 FTEs. Of those, 281 were employed in processing in Northland and many more work on vessels catching seafood.


"It is about jobs - and particularly jobs in regional New Zealand. The better the industry does, the better off fishing communities are around the country," Mr Helson said.

The report was derived from catch data supplied by the Ministry for Primary Industries.