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Decision on Orange Roughy Fishery Welcome

Sustainability Politics +2 more

NEW ZEALAND - Primary Industries Minister David Carter has welcomed a move by New Zealand fish quota owners to forego fishing an increased orange roughy stock in the interest of long-term sustainability.

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The fishing industry deserves a pat on the back for this responsible, precautionary management decision, says Mr Carter.

The industry has applied this approach in relation to other deepwater stocks and it is pleasing to see this continue.

As part of the Ministry for Primary Industries annual stock assessment and fishery management review process, an increase in the size of the orange roughy stock on the Chatham Rise, east of New Zealand was identified. The quota owners for this stock include New Zealands largest deepwater fishing companies.

Phased catch limit reductions have been implemented for this orange roughy stock since 2008 to enable it to rebuild. There was an opportunity this year to increase the allowable catch for the first time in more than 10 years.

However, following discussions between MPI and quota owners, it was agreed to let the stock continue to rebuild, and allow more time for stock status information to be collected, says Mr Carter.

Quota owners also agreed to voluntarily reduce the catch limit for a second orange roughy stock on New Zealands mid-East coast despite some uncertainty on whether this is needed. I welcome this responsible move by the fishing industry.