Stuff/NZPA: Orange roughy fishery collapse continues

The Ministry of Fisheries has said that despite efforts, the orange roughy fishery on the Chatham Rise is continuing to collapse.

As a result, the Ministry is proposing catch reductions for the area next year, although fishing will still be allowed to take place.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“New Zealand’s orange roughy fishery first developed on the Chatham Rise in 1979, a year after the nation declared a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone, but decisions to fish the stock down to very low levels proved disastrous as researchers initially did not realise the species lived up to 120 years and likely took a long time to breed replacement fish.

“Despite later clear warnings from some scientists if high catch levels continued, fishers collapsed the Challenger Plateau stock to 3 percent of the unfished biomass, and there were significant catch reductions from annual catches of 40,000-50,000 tonnes during the 1980s.”