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Orange roughy recovery a major success story

Orange roughy recovery a major success story

Good fisheries management has yielded results for the economy and the environment, says New Zealand Seafood Industry Council chief executive Peter Bodeker.

The comment comes after yesterday’s (Wednesday 22 September) changes to hoki and orange roughy catch limits, announced by the Minister of Aquaculture and Fisheries.

“We’ve seen some increases in catch limits and some reductions. The good news from our point of view is that the Minister has used the best available science to set these limits, so we can be confident the changes will keep our fisheries sustainable,” Mr Bodeker said.

The Minister’s decision to reopen the orange roughy fishery on the Challenger Plateau, west of the south island, was “an irrefutable endorsement of the success of New Zealand’s fisheries management system”.

“Here we have a fishery which was closed for 10 years to let it rebuild that can now be sustainably reopened with a small commercial catch limit. It’s proof that even a long-lived species like orange roughy can recover if it is managed with a combination of caution and good scientific information.”

Meanwhile, efforts to rebuild the orange roughy fishery on the Chatham Rise have resulted in the third of three reductions to the catch limit.

“Industry welcomes this reduction because sustainability is the bedrock of our business. The seafood industry contributes $1.4 billion to New Zealand’s economy and keeps more than 26,000 in work. We couldn’t do that if we didn’t look after the resource.”

Background

The Challenger Plateau orange roughy fishery (called ORH7A) has been closed since October 2000. It will reopen with a limit of 500 tonnes.

The catch limit for the Chatham Rise orange roughy fishery (called ORH3B) will be reduced from 8,350 to 4,840 tonnes, the third in a three-step phased reduction.

These changes to orange roughy catch limits, announced yesterday, are part of a suite of announced changes and will come into force at the beginning of the new fishing year on October 1.

ENDS

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