The New Zealand Marine Research Foundation was established by the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council with the purpose of providing information and research independent of the Ministry of Fisheries.
The majority of the marine research carried out by government agencies, or funded by commercial fishing levies and government grants, is directed at projects seeking to justify maximum level of commercial harvest. These projects are not focused on recreational fishing interests or seeking a better understanding of the public’s inter-relationship with the marine environment. The New Zealand Marine Foundation was established to address that gap.
The Foundation was registered as a charitable trust with full IRD approval and tax deductions for contributors in May 1996. It took three years to raise the Foundation’s capital base to $100,000.
The New Zealand Marine Research Foundation was officially launched on 23 September 1999, at the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club in Paihia.