The highly scrutinized process for allowing foreign workers into New Zealand and the measures by which they should be quarantined to stem COVID-19 infections is risking millions of dollars and much-needed jobs in the New Zealand whitefish industry.

The tension between lives and livelihoods during the pandemic is not a new story, but for New Zealand, where immigration controls have been particularly stringent and the fishing sector is reliant on incoming workers, the situation holds a particular sting.