Department of Economic Development Natural Resources and Environment of Tokelau

Head of Fisheries: 
Mikaele Perez, Director
Phone number: 
+690 3127
Email address: 

EDNRE, Tokelau Apia Liaison Office

PO Box 865




Authority responsible for fisheries matters

Department for Economic, Development, Natural Resources & Environment (EDNRE)

Head of Fisheries

Mikaele Perez, Director

Size of EEZ

518,000 square kilometers

Key highly migratory fisheries

Albacore, bigeye, skipjack and yellowfin tuna, swordfish

Development objectives and opportunities

Tokelau’s fisheries are recognised as a key resource to enable sustainable development. 

Tokelau is committed to ensuring its fisheries are managed sustainably and in a manner that maximises the cultural, social and economic well-being of Tokelau. 

Offshore fisheries

Offshore fisheries (the pelagic fisheries of the Tokelau EEZ) are managed by EDNRE in collaboration with the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries – Fisheries Department and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and with the primary objective of maximising the wealth to Tokelau.  Tokelau intends to manage its offshore fisheries using well-specified, long-term harvesting rights which can be leased to fishing entities.  Tokelau is in the process of finalising a draft management plan for its offshore fisheries, which includes the following development strategies:

  • Purse seine fisheries: manage using a vessel day scheme (VDS) that is compatible with the PNA VDS
  • Albacore longline fishery: work with coastal states with an interest in the albacore fishery to set country limits and develop a management regime that maximises the value obtained from leasing the harvesting rights
  • Tropical longline fishery: establish country limits for yellowfin and bigeye, and explore management options to give effect to country limits.

Pending establishment of new management regimes, Tokelau proposes to limit the number of licenses issued in each fishery as follows:

  • Purse seiners –up to 20 vessels per year (additional to vessels authorised to fish under the US Tuna Treaty)
  • Albacore longliners – up to 12 vessels per year
  • Tropical longliners –up to 8 vessels per year.

 Inshore fisheries

Inshore fisheries (the fisheries of the lagoon, reefs, and coastal waters out to 25 nm) are managed by the Taupulega with the primary objective of meeting the food security and cultural needs of each Nuku.  Commercial fishing of inshore fisheries may be authorised subject to a cost-benefit and market analysis and environmental impact assessment that shows the development is environmentally sustainable, will not jeopardise food security,  and will create a net economic gain.