Bottom trawling for orange roughy has scientists worried

Date: May 22, 2018

Source: Stuff New Zealand 
Author: Andrea Vance

Protracted wrangling about how best to protect the South Pacific’s orange roughy has now culminated in threats of legal action from New Zealand’s powerful fishing industry interests.

In the still, dark depths of the world’s oceans, the orange roughy can live to an astonishing 130 years, if left alone.

But with its firm, sweet, easy-cook flesh, the venerable hoplostethus atlanticus was almost fished into extinction in New Zealand waters.

A rescue mission was launched more than a decade ago, drastically reducing the catch and allowing stocks to return from the depths of despair. Three of the nine fisheries within New Zealand waters were recently deemed sustainable once again.

But it is bottom-trawling for orange roughy on the high seas – the area out beyond the 12 nautical mile limit of New Zealand and Australia’s exclusive economic zone – that has scientists and conservationists worried.

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Posted on Categories FisheriesTags