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

Rec fishing

Recreational fishers should have a proportional share of the catch

To say the new Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, inherited some fisheries management problems is an understatement. The Ministry for Primary Industries and its predecessors have failed to grapple with the misreporting of commercial catch, discarding of unwanted bycatch and the high grading of targeted catch. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
New Zealand Herald
18 January, 2018

The Future Catch report launch

On Monday 4 December we launched our third report on how we can improve the recreational fishing experience. The panel discussion included Dr Randall Bess (author of the report), Hon. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
The New Zealand Initiative
12 January, 2018
Rock lobster

Bite may have to be put on fishers

Recreational fishing in New Zealand’s marine waters is one of the few remaining free-of-charge public goods available to everyone. However, managing fisheries is not costless. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
New Zealand Herald
4 January, 2018
Stuart Nash

National's pretty kettle of fish

Some opposition MPs take to their new roles swimmingly. It is hard to imagine that these politicians ever did anything else but criticise others for not solving problems. Which would be fine if those very problems had not been presided over by their own party for nine years. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
8 December, 2017
Randall The AM Show

Randall Bess about the future of recreational fisheries

In his new report 'The Future Catch', Dr Randall Bess is calling for a peak body to be set up to influence policy around recreational fishing to ensure future generations will be able to fish. Duncan Garner interviews Dr Randall Bess on The AM Show about his recommendations. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
The AM Show
5 December, 2017
Rec fishing

Future of recreational fisheries

Increasingly, we are hearing recreational fishers are frustrated about the depletion of some fisheries compared with what they experienced in the past. Also, tensions and conflicts between recreational, commercial and customary fishers are intensifying as they compete for limited fisheries resources. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
1 December, 2017
IMG 2169

The Future of Recreational Fishing in NZ

The New Zealand Initiative's Dr Randall Bess and Geoff Rowling from Our Fishing Future, speak to Radio New Zealand about the future of recreational fishing in New Zealand. Throughout August and September, Dr Bess will be travelling the country holding public meetings to gather feedback from local fishing communities and discuss the draft recommendations in his latest report, 'The Future Catch: Preserving Recreational Fisheries for the Next Generation'. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Radio New Zealand
22 August, 2017

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