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Criticisms Of Orange Roughy Claims Rejected

The Forest and Bird Protection Society today rejected claims by the Minister of Fisheries and the fishing industry that orange roughy was sustainably managed.

Society spokesperson, Barry Weeber, said fisheries which have been reduced to 7 percent of their original size in less than 10 years cannot be said to be sustainably managed.

"Fisheries Minister, John Luxton and the fishing industry should stop repeating greenwash and instead act to protect orange roughy stocks."

Mr Weeber said the Minister has refused to take action to reduce orange roughy catch limits for the Northern-Bay of Plenty fishery and introduce more effective limits for the southern orange roughy fisheries.

"The Auckland Islands and Antipodes orange roughy fisheries have crashed over the last 3 years, not to mention the impact on other species caught at the same time."

Mr Weeber said if the Minister wants to live up to his statements then he should close these fisheries.

"It is high time the fishing industry thought about the long term rather than mining orange roughy populations before moving to the next stock."

Mr Weeber said that Forest and Bird was still waiting for the fishing industry to take up the challenge and protect a range of seamount features at orange roughy depths so as to conserve marine biodiversity.

"Australia has already protected over 370 square kilometres of seamounts south of Tasmania but New Zealand has yet to act."

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