The head of a leading conservation group is calling for an urgent review of the Fisheries Act.
Kevin Hague, the new chief executive of Forest & Bird, said the 1996 Fisheries Act is outdated at the launch of the Best Fish Guide 2017 on Thursday.
"We desperately need to update the rules and technology around fisheries in New Zealand," he said.
He said the technology used to measure catches is 30 years old, and what is being caught could be much higher than what is being reported.
"Our ecosystems are in grave peril."
The Best Fish Guide is now in app format this year, and Forest & Bird say it will secure change in the industry by members of the public having the information available at the ready.
Mr Hague said the app will enable consumers to make a difference.
The guide uses a traffic light system to rank 85 commercially caught seafood species, green being safe and sustainable to eat, and red being the 'worst choice'.