New Instructions to Permit Holders for SBT

You can read the instructions below or you can open the attachment to view the instructions and the photographs.

Instructions to permit holders

These instructions are issued by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Fisheries under section 190 of the Fisheries Act 1996.

These instructions outline your obligations under the Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS) for southern bluefin tuna.   Note that these requirements are additional to the existing reporting and recordkeeping requirements specified in regulations made under the Fisheries Act 1996.

The CDS was adopted by the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna, the international body that is responsible for the sustainable management of southern bluefin tuna.  New Zealand is participating in this scheme along with the other countries that fish for southern bluefin tuna. 

The CDS applies to ALL commercially-caught southern bluefin tuna.

You are required to apply an authorised CCSBT tag to every southern bluefin tuna you catch and retain (i.e. all fish except those released under the 6 th Schedule).  The Ministry of Fisheries issues these tags.

The tag is an essential component of the CDS. Without this tag, southern bluefin tuna will not be accepted into markets of member states. Additional instructions for applying the tag are provided below.

When landing southern bluefin tuna to a Licensed Fish Receiver (LFR), you must provide the LFR with the information they require to complete the associated catch documentation for the CDS (i.e. vessel name and registration number, where and when you caught the fish).

The LFR will use this information to complete the following catch documents:

  • A Catch Tagging Form – records information about  each individual southern bluefin tuna caught, including:

o   The tag number

o   When the fish was caught

o   The vessel that caught the fish

o   The length and weight of each fish

  • A Catch Monitoring Form – records information on southern bluefin tuna exports, imports, and domestic sales

However, if you freeze fish on-board, then you must fill out the section of the Catch Tagging Form that records the length and weight of each fish prior to doing so.

New CCSBT tags are issued every calendar year.  Please ensure that the CCSBT tags you have been issued with are placed on-board for use in the correct calendar year.  The tags are in sequential order and we recommend that tags are also applied in that order for ease of administration.

You are not allowed to sell or otherwise dispose of the CCSBT tags issued to you and you will be required to account for any unused tags at the end of the year. 

In the event that you do not have sufficient tags available on-board your fishing vessel, please ensure that the LFR applies a tag to any southern bluefin tuna that you land.  CCSBT tags must always be applied before the fish is frozen, and before any further transfer takes place (i.e. before it leaves the LFR premises).

Applying the southern bluefin tuna tag

Below are some instructions supplied by the manufacturer of the tag. In the example given, the tags are being applied to a fish that will be frozen. Because fresh fish are processed differently you might need to apply the tag slightly differently from what is shown here. The important thing is to apply the tag so that it will remain fastened to the fish, and so the tag information (i.e. tag number) can be easily read.

The tags will be different colours each year, to allow for ready identification in the market-place. The tag used in 2010 was beige; in 2011 the tag will be green. 


If you have additional questions on how the scheme will operate, or need additional tags, please contact:

Stephanie Hill
Senior Fisheries Analyst
(09) 820 7785