Seafood prices up 19% in five years

When fish is on the menu, the type of fish you get can depend heavily on where you live.

Statistics NZ says in its latest seafood industry survey that salmon, tarakihi and gurnard are the most commonly available fish species in supermarkets and fish shops. However, some species are not widely available in all regions.

“Snapper and trevally are generally available in shops from Nelson northward but barely feature further south where sole is more commonly available,” prices manager Chris Pike says.

The survey gives an economic overview of selected parts of the country’s seafood industry and provides a comparison between 2007 and 2012.

During that time, fresh fish prices rose 19% – an average of 3.5% a year. This compares with a 21% rise in food prices tracked in the Consumers Price Index over the five years.

“For the same period, prices for lamb rose 35%, beef rose 22% and chicken rose 14%,” Mr Pike says.

Hoki, red cod and trevally are among the cheapest species per kilo, while at the other end of the scale, snapper and blue cod are the most expensive.

There is also a large overseas market for New Zealand seafood. The value of fish exports increased 26% to $1.6 billion over the past five years. This rise was due to increases in the price of exported fish.

“The value of seafood exports to China and Hong Kong have increased 62% over the last five years, with demand for rock lobster, frozen fish, pāua and mussels all contributing to the increase,” Mr Pike says.

More on New Zealand’s seafood industry and an infographic is at

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2 Comments & Questions

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I'm a great fan of Statistics NZ but this doesn't gel. I appreciate they only keep score but the experience at the supermarket would indicate 119% over 10 years! Market research of one.
Fish vs meat ... and bear in mind our quota-empowered fishing fleets don't feed the fish and the oil price is half of what it was.
More than the fish smell here. Perhaps export incentives are being packed away, too. $34-$40 for snapper, blue cod, JD and even salmon cannot ever be that of a competitive market.
Or are we back to the Ocker duopoly and profits must be delivered in Aussie dollars?
Anyone know the true story?

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It's cheaper to get fish & taties from the takeaway shop than to buy it fresh and take it home and make it yourself The only hiccup is make sure what type of fish they are cooking. Shy away from Bassa (Indonesian catfish grown in sewer-infested waters) and be warned, I suspect a lot of Asian/Chinese operators use it as it is about $6 kg.

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