Dr Randall Bess

Former Research Fellow

Randall has researched and published articles on New Zealand’s management of fisheries, including the seafood industry and conflicts between the commercial and non-commercial fishing sectors. He also worked for the former Ministry of Fisheries (and the Ministry for Primary Industries) for 13 years. Before immigrating to New Zealand, he commercially fished in Alaska.

During his time at the Initiative, Randall was the Research Fellow for our fisheries project. This work involved a series of three reports that contribute to the debate on what needs to be fixed within the recreational fishing space. 

Latest reports:
The Future Catch: Preserving Recreational Fisheries for the Next Generation (2017)
The Overseas Catch: The state of recreational fisheries management abroad (2017)
What's the Catch?: The state of recreational fisheries management in New Zealand (2016)

Recent Work


Changing and preserving the recreational right to fish

You may not have read Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s The Leopard but you probably know the novel’s most famous line, “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” To change things so they can stay the same – that is the gist of our new fisheries report The Future Catch. We released it for consultation on Tuesday. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
4 August, 2017
camera on fishing boat

A world-leading solution?

The 2017 Budget brought a boost to fisheries management intended to enhance New Zealand’s much-touted world-leading Quota Management System. The Minister for Primary Industries announced $30.5 million towards a world-leading Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS). Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
9 June, 2017
Australia brick

Media release: New Zealanders inspired by Western Australian fisheries

Wellington (31 May 2017): Western Australia shows what is possible when competing fishing sectors collaborate in fisheries management, say delegates from across New Zealand’s fishing sectors. The New Zealand Initiative and the US-based Environmental Defense Fund last week led a group of New Zealanders involved in the recreational, commercial and customary fishing sectors to learn from Western Australia’s example. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
31 May, 2017
fish netting

The public deserve the "true facts"

The former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was known for saying it would be a mistake to keep the “true facts” from the public. Basically, we hope our political leaders and their advisors will follow Churchill’s advice. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
5 May, 2017
Randall dicusses Overseas Catch

Dr Randall Bess on The Overseas Catch and fisher exchange

The Overseas Catch: The state of recreational fisheries management abroad author, Dr Randall Bess, discusses his overseas research trip. He travelled to the Gulf of Mexico, northern California, British Columbia and Western Australia to learn more about how these locations manage their recreational fisheries - what worked well, what didn't and what can New Zealand learn? Read more

Dr Randall Bess
21 April, 2017
Rec fishing

The unknown-knowns of government officials

Former US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, is famous for his reference to known-knowns, known-unknowns and unknown-unknowns. In other words, there are things we know we know, things we know we don’t know, and things we don’t know we don’t know. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
21 April, 2017

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