Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

NZ orange roughy exports accelerate as fish stocks recover

NZ orange roughy exports accelerate as fish stocks improve

By Tina Morrison

Feb. 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand orange roughy exports are accelerating as catch limits of the deepwater fish, once a poster child for bad fisheries management, increase amid confidence about improving stocks.

Exports of the slow-growing fish, which can live for up to 130 years, rose 6.9 percent to a three-year high of $36.5 million last year, according to Statistics NZ data. That compares with a high of $170.2 million in 1988 when the fishery was at its peak, and a low of $29 million in 2012 when catch limits were cut back.

Orange roughy exports are expanding again following a slump after three of the fisheries were closed and catch limits were pulled back to 7,000 tonnes during the 2012 and 2013 fishing years, which run from October through September, on concern about overfishing, from a peak of 61,000 tonnes in the 1988 fishing year.

New technology to better measure orange roughy populations has shown two of the three closed fisheries can now support some commercial fishing, allowing the catch limit to rise to 8,700 tonnes in the current fishing year through September 2015.

"The stocks are looking very healthy now," said Alastair Macfarlane, a fishery consultant to industry body Seafood New Zealand. "Orange roughy catch limits have been starting to gradually increase in a number of fisheries and the outlook over the next five years is for continued capacity to cautiously increase catch limits."

Still, he said the fishery would never return to the huge volumes of the late 1980s when the stock was being "fished down" to a lower level.

New Zealand boasts the oldest and largest orange roughy fishery in the world on the Chatham Rise, to the east of the South Island, where bottom trawling for the species began in the late 1970s.

Since the 1988 peak in orange roughy exports, China has emerged as a major market for the fish.

In 1998, 90 percent of New Zealand's orange roughy exports were sent to the US and China wasn't listed among the 22 export destinations compiled by Statistics NZ. However, last year the US accounted for just 63 percent of orange roughy exports, and China overtook Australia as the second-largest market for the fish, taking 21 percent of the exports.

Seafood was New Zealand's sixth-largest commodity export last year, increasing 3.6 percent from the year earlier to $1.38 billion.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Consumer NZ Testing: Nine Sunscreen Brands Fail Protection Tests

Nine different brands fell short in the latest round of testing by Consumer NZ, which covered 20 products. More>>

ALSO:

Media: NZME 'In Discussions' To Buy Stuff

NZME confirms that it is in discussions with Stuff’s owners Nine and has put a proposal to the Government regarding a possible transaction. However, NZME notes that these discussions are preliminary... More>>

Consultation: Plan Of Action To Protect Seabirds

The draft National Plan of Action plan outlines the Government’s commitment to reducing fishing-related captures of seabirds, with clear goals and objectives, supported by an implementation plan. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Issues: Fairer Rules For Tenants And Landlords

The key changes include: - Limit rent increases to once every 12 months and banning the solicitation of rental bids by landlords. - Improve tenant’s security by removing a landlord’s right to use no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement... More>>

ALSO: