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

abalone management

Red abalone management

As a follow-up to our recently released report, What's the Catch?, Dr Randall Bess travelled overseas to the USA to learn more about fisheries management. One of the places he stopped was along the California coast, where he met with representatives of The Nature Conservancy, and learnt about a diver-led initiative to assist with the management of red abalone. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
The Nature Conservancy
4 November, 2016
NZFishingNews Nov20161

NZ Fishing News: When size matters

As a follow-up to The New Zealand Initiative's recently released report, What's the Catch?, Randall Bess is travelling overseas to research some of the different ways recreational fisheries are managed. In his overseas travels, he first visited the remote northern California coastline. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
NZ Fishing News
1 November, 2016
Fishing BC

A fishing tale from British Columbia

John Steinbeck once said that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses had it coming. While a novice fisher might find this saying humorous, a veteran likely won’t, since much can be said about the challenges of fishing for sport. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
21 October, 2016
fish netting

Accounting for all commercial catches

There is a fishing saying, ‘When in doubt, exaggerate.’ At least that is what comes to mind when the fishing industry repeatedly refers to the quota management system (QMS) as world leading. In some respects, the QMS may well have maintained world leading status after 30 years, but certainly not with respect to holding commercial fishers accountable for their catches. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
7 October, 2016
NBR logo5

Fishing for fun now serious business

The Auckland housing situation has been developing for several years, if not decades, but only recently has the government acknowledged it is at a crisis point. The continued denial that a crisis was looming allowed the problem to grow into something that will take considerable time and effort to fix. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
The National Business Review
16 September, 2016

Valuing a day’s fishing

The easiest way to catch a fish is to visit the local New World store. Commercial fishing can deliver seafood far more cost effectively than the average recreational fisher. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
Insights Newsletter
12 August, 2016
Rec fishing

Where to for recreational fishing...

Where to for recreational fishing as commercial industry targets double the exports? There is a saying, 'If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there would be a shortage of fishing poles.' Well, perhaps we should first concentrate on the shortage of fish. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
The Dominion Post
1 August, 2016

Fix fishing from the top

Political hierarchies are like fish: both rot from the head downward. So, when fishing starts to stink, we need to first look at the fisheries management hierarchy. Read more

Dr Randall Bess
The National Business Review
10 June, 2016

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