Orange roughy commercial fishing quota reduced by 43 percent
19 September 2006
Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton today announced reductions in commercial catch limits for orange roughy, from the start of the new fishing year on 1 October 2006.
The commercial catch limits for orange roughy in the northern North Island (ORH1) will be reduced by 43 percent to 800 tonnes per year.
The commercial limits for the Chatham Rise and southern New Zealand fishery (ORH3B) will be reduced by almost 10 percent to 11,500 tonnes.
The Minister said he is aware of the ongoing difficulties of managing the orange roughy fisheries and heíll be monitoring the fishery to ensure catch limits are set at a sustainable level.
The orange roughy decisions are part of the Ministerís annual decisions on catch limits for species in the quota management system.
Continued reduction of the quota raises questions about the sustainability of orange roughy. It comes at a time when a moratorium is being negotiated at the United Nations for bottom trawling, the fishing practice used to catch orange roughy.
The first orange roughy catches around New Zealand were by foreign trawlers during the late 1970s. The domestic orange roughy fishery expanded very quickly from 1979, reaching a peak of 54,000 tonnes/year in 1988/89. Sixty percent of this catch came from the Chatham Rise.