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44 degrees south, 176 degrees west 
 that is where you will find our home, Wharekauri, Rekohu known as the Chatham Islands, land of the misty skies.

Way out in the Southern Ocean, 800km away from civilisation, we are literally on the edge of the Earth. It takes a certain type of character to survive in this kind of isolation, but for local people it’s simply a way of life.

For the 600-or-so people that live on the Chatham Islands, everything is self sufficient. There are no parking fines, no crowds and no worries 
 it's the real feeling of raw freedom.

‘Way out in the Southern Ocean, 800km away from civilisation, we are literally on the edge of the Earth’.

Rare Waters

The ocean around the Chatham Islands is truly unique. Cold ocean currents from the south and warm currents from the north meet and mix, creating a rare carbon sink right on our doorstep. This generates nutrient-rich waters that provide food for phytoplankton (the lifeblood of our fish population) as well as creating a thriving marine eco-system. Our champion, the Chatham Blue, enjoys a daily diet of Crayfish (Rock Lobster) and Pāua (black abalone). It's not hard to see why this incredible fish has a taste like no other. 

Life on the Edge

To locals, the Chatham Islands are known as the land of the misty skies. A place where 60-knot winds clear a straight run down to Antarctica. A place of surging seas and wild, unpredictable elements. Nearly 800 kilometres from anywhere, we’re about as far from civilisation as you can get. The culture here is strong. Many of the old ways are still part of daily life because the Islands are governed by the elements. The wild winds and cold, deep waters of the Chathams create the taste that we call home. A taste we now share with the world.

A precious resource

To ensure our oceans remain healthy and vibrant, we as an Island have come up with our own protective ways, above and beyond government regulations, to help each species thrive, today and tomorrow. Our local agreements cover supplementary restrictions on catch and size limits, selective fishing methods, and reef by reef shellfish management. This results in commercial fishers shelving a portion of their annual catch to create a healthier and more abundant marine ecosystem.

Guardians of home

When our ancestors first arrived on the islands they discovered a land of plenty, yet they only ever took what they needed.

They arrived as Moriori and Maori people, whalers and sealers, farmers and fishermen. They honored our lands and waters hundreds of years before us.

As today’s guardians of the Chatham Islands, we continue to follow in their footsteps. Our fishery is managed under the New Zealand quota system, which limits the amount of seafood that can be taken out of the water annually.

Our pot-caught fishing method is highly selective, with minimal impact on the marine environment. Unlike some methods, there’s no unnecessary by-catch and the juvenile fish can swim free, sustaining the species and our industry.

In everything we do, we aim to look after the Chathams today so it will continue to provide for our children tomorrow.