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FishCare promotes best practice techniques to help people contribute to fishery and environmental sustainability.


FishCare – The school of best practice is an educational initiative to help people think about the way they fish and how we can all minimise our impact on the marine environment. New Zealand’s marine fisheries resources are highly valued and unique, and people expect them to be well managed and sustained long-term. Recreational fishers need to exercise a duty of care to ensure our marine fisheries and environment are protected for future generations.

To understand people’s recreational fishing practices, a baseline survey was conducted in 2017, and repeating the survey in 2018 provided an indication of how the FishCare programme is shifting awareness and improving the practices of recreational fishers and those who interact with New Zealand’s marine waters. LegaSea continues to develop the FishCare programme so all New Zealanders can contribute to reducing the impacts on our precious marine environment. 


FishCare Principles

  1. Reduce wastage by protecting small and juvenile fish from capture and incorrect handling.
  2. Maximise the survival rate of fish released after capture.
  3. Maximise the use of all fish caught and kept.
  4. Minimise the impacts of fishing on marine life and the environment.    
  5. Return home safely. Maximise your safety while fishing on or near the water.


If everyone does their part, we can all make a difference to the fishery we care so much about. It is our goal to not only educate people to adopt these principles but to inspire them to become advocates and help their fellow fishers to do likewise.

While the programme covers many areas, it is best to start small - you don’t have to change everything at once (although that would be great). Even small changes can make a big difference over time; from hook selection and handling techniques to fish processing, interactions with mammals, birds and personal safety.

There are a lot of areas where fishers and boaties can be vigilant and proactive. To find out more about FishCare, visit

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