Orange roughy
Overview
 
The orange roughy, red roughy, or deep sea perch, Hoplostethus atlanticus, is a relatively large deep-sea fish belonging to the slimehead
Slimehead
Slimeheads, also known as roughies and redfish, are mostly small, exceptionally long-lived, deep-sea beryciform fish constituting the family Trachichthyidae...

 family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 (Trachichthyidae). The Marine Conservation Society
Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society a UK charity for the protection of the seas around the United Kingdom, and for the protection of their shores and wildlife.According to their website MCS's Vision is:Their website also states:...

 has categorized orange roughy as vulnerable to exploitation. It is found in 3 to 9 °C (37.4 to 48.2 F) deep (bathypelagic
Pelagic zone
Any water in a sea or lake that is not close to the bottom or near to the shore can be said to be in the pelagic zone. The word pelagic comes from the Greek πέλαγος or pélagos, which means "open sea". The pelagic zone can be thought of in terms of an imaginary cylinder or water column that goes...

, 180 to 1800 m (590.6 to 5,905.5 ) waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, eastern Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 (from Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 to Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

; and from Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay , is a city in Namibia and the name of the bay on which it lies...

, Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

, to off Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

), Indo-Pacific
Indo-Pacific
The Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region of the Earth's seas, comprising the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the western and central Pacific Ocean, and the seas connecting the two in the general area of Indonesia...

 (off New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

), and in the Eastern Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 off Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

.
Encyclopedia
The orange roughy, red roughy, or deep sea perch, Hoplostethus atlanticus, is a relatively large deep-sea fish belonging to the slimehead
Slimehead
Slimeheads, also known as roughies and redfish, are mostly small, exceptionally long-lived, deep-sea beryciform fish constituting the family Trachichthyidae...

 family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 (Trachichthyidae). The Marine Conservation Society
Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society a UK charity for the protection of the seas around the United Kingdom, and for the protection of their shores and wildlife.According to their website MCS's Vision is:Their website also states:...

 has categorized orange roughy as vulnerable to exploitation. It is found in 3 to 9 °C (37.4 to 48.2 F) deep (bathypelagic
Pelagic zone
Any water in a sea or lake that is not close to the bottom or near to the shore can be said to be in the pelagic zone. The word pelagic comes from the Greek πέλαγος or pélagos, which means "open sea". The pelagic zone can be thought of in terms of an imaginary cylinder or water column that goes...

, 180 to 1800 m (590.6 to 5,905.5 ) waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, eastern Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 (from Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 to Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

; and from Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay , is a city in Namibia and the name of the bay on which it lies...

, Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

, to off Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

), Indo-Pacific
Indo-Pacific
The Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region of the Earth's seas, comprising the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the western and central Pacific Ocean, and the seas connecting the two in the general area of Indonesia...

 (off New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

), and in the Eastern Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 off Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

. The orange roughy is notable for its extraordinary lifespan, with lifespans up to 149 years determined by scientific methods. It is important to commercial deep trawl fisheries. The fish is actually a bright, brick red color; however, the orange roughy fades to a yellowish orange after death.

Like other slimehead
Slimehead
Slimeheads, also known as roughies and redfish, are mostly small, exceptionally long-lived, deep-sea beryciform fish constituting the family Trachichthyidae...

s, the orange roughy is slow-growing and late to mature, resulting in a very low resilience. They are extremely susceptible to overfishing
Overfishing
Overfishing occurs when fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptable level. This can occur in any body of water from a pond to the oceans....

 because of this, and many stocks (especially those off New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, which were first exploited in the late 1970s) have already crashed; recently discovered substitute stocks are rapidly dwindling. The flesh is firm with a mild flavour; it is sold skinned and filleted, fresh or frozen.

Physical description

The orange roughy is not a vertically slender fish. They turn orange after death, but are red while living.

The rounded head is riddled with muciferous
Mucus
In vertebrates, mucus is a slippery secretion produced by, and covering, mucous membranes. Mucous fluid is typically produced from mucous cells found in mucous glands. Mucous cells secrete products that are rich in glycoproteins and water. Mucous fluid may also originate from mixed glands, which...

 canals (part of the lateral line
Lateral line
The lateral line is a sense organ in aquatic organisms , used to detect movement and vibration in the surrounding water. Lateral lines are usually visible as faint lines running lengthwise down each side, from the vicinity of the gill covers to the base of the tail...

 system), as is typical of slimeheads. The single dorsal fin
Dorsal fin
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

 contains four to six spines
Spine (zoology)
A spine is a hard, thorny or needle-like structure which occurs on various animals. Animals such as porcupines and sea urchins grow spines as a self-defense mechanism. Spines are often formed of keratin...

 and 15 to 19 soft rays; the anal fin contains three spines and 10 to 12 soft rays. The 19 to 25 ventral scute
Scute
A scute or scutum is a bony external plate or scale, as on the shell of a turtle, the skin of crocodilians, the feet of some birds or the anterior portion of the mesonotum in insects.-Properties:...

s (modified scale
Scale (zoology)
In most biological nomenclature, a scale is a small rigid plate that grows out of an animal's skin to provide protection. In lepidopteran species, scales are plates on the surface of the insect wing, and provide coloration...

s) form a hard, bony median ridge between the pelvic fins and anus
Anus
The anus is an opening at the opposite end of an animal's digestive tract from the mouth. Its function is to control the expulsion of feces, unwanted semi-solid matter produced during digestion, which, depending on the type of animal, may be one or more of: matter which the animal cannot digest,...

. The pectoral fins contain 15-18 soft rays each; the pelvic fins are thoracic and contain one spine and six soft rays; the caudal fin is forked. The interior of the mouth and gill
Gill
A gill is a respiratory organ found in many aquatic organisms that extracts dissolved oxygen from water, afterward excreting carbon dioxide. The gills of some species such as hermit crabs have adapted to allow respiration on land provided they are kept moist...

 cavity is a bluish black; the mouth itself is large and strongly oblique. The scales are ctenoid and adherent. The lateral line is uninterrupted, with 28 to 32 scales whose spinules or ctenii largely obscure the lateral line's pores. The eyes are large.

The orange roughy is the largest known slimehead species at a maximum standard length (a measurement which excludes the tail fin) of 75 centimetres (29.5 in) and a maximum weight of 7 kilograms (15.4 lb). The average commercial catch size is commonly between 35 and 45 cm in length. The name orange roughy was renamed from the less gastronomically appealing slimehead through a US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) program during the late 70's which identified (then) underutilized species that should be renamed to make them more marketable.

Life history

Orange roughy are generally sluggish and demersal; they form aggregations with a natural population density of up to 2.5 fish per square meter, now reduced to about 1 per square meter. These aggregations form in and around geologic structures, such as undersea canyon
Canyon
A canyon or gorge is a deep ravine between cliffs often carved from the landscape by a river. Rivers have a natural tendency to reach a baseline elevation, which is the same elevation as the body of water it will eventually drain into. This forms a canyon. Most canyons were formed by a process of...

s and seamount
Seamount
A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water's surface , and thus is not an island. These are typically formed from extinct volcanoes, that rise abruptly and are usually found rising from a seafloor of depth. They are defined by oceanographers as...

s, where water movement and mixing is high—ensuring dense prey concentrations. The aggregations are not necessarily for spawning or feeding; it is thought that the fish cycle through metabolic
Metabolism
Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in the cells of living organisms to sustain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories...

 phases (active or feeding and inactive or resting) and seek areas with ideal hydrologic
Hydrology
Hydrology is the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability...

 conditions to congregate during each phase. They lose almost all pigmentation while inactive, during which time they are very approachable. Predators include large deep-roving shark
Shark
Sharks are a type of fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a highly streamlined body. The earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago....

s, cutthroat eel
Cutthroat eel
Cutthroat eels are a family, Synaphobranchidae, of eels, the only member of the suborder Synaphobranchoidei. They are found worldwide in temperate and tropical seas....

s, merluccid hakes, and snake mackerel
Snake mackerel
Gempylidae is a family of perciform fishes, commonly known as snake mackerels or escolars.They are elongate fishes with a similar appearance to barracudas, having a long dorsal fin, usually with one or finlets trailing it. The largest species, including the snoek, Thyrsites atun, grow up to two...

s.

When active, they feed primarily on zooplankton
Zooplankton
Zooplankton are heterotrophic plankton. Plankton are organisms drifting in oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. The word "zooplankton" is derived from the Greek zoon , meaning "animal", and , meaning "wanderer" or "drifter"...

 such as mysid shrimp
Shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

, euphausiids, mesopelagic and benthopelagic fish, amphipods, and other crustacean
Crustacean
Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods, usually treated as a subphylum, which includes such familiar animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles. The 50,000 described species range in size from Stygotantulus stocki at , to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span...

s; adults also take smaller fish and squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

. The orange roughy's metabolic phases are thought to be related to seasonal variations in prey concentrations. The inactive phase conserves energy during lean periods. Orange roughy can live up to 149 years.

Reproduction


Orange roughy are oceanodromous, non-guarding pelagic
Pelagic fish
Pelagic fish live near the surface or in the water column of coastal, ocean and lake waters, but not on the bottom of the sea or the lake. They can be contrasted with demersal fish, which do live on or near the bottom, and reef fish which are associated with coral reefs.The marine pelagic...

 spawner
Spawn (biology)
Spawn refers to the eggs and sperm released or deposited, usually into water, by aquatic animals. As a verb, spawn refers to the process of releasing the eggs and sperm, also called spawning...

s: that is, they migrate
Fish migration
Many types of fish migrate on a regular basis, on time scales ranging from daily to annually or longer, and over distances ranging from a few metres to thousands of kilometres...

 several hundred kilometers between localized spawning and feeding areas each year and form large spawning aggregations (possibly segregated according to sex) wherein the fish release large, spherical eggs
Egg (biology)
An egg is an organic vessel in which an embryo first begins to develop. In most birds, reptiles, insects, molluscs, fish, and monotremes, an egg is the zygote, resulting from fertilization of the ovum, which is expelled from the body and permitted to develop outside the body until the developing...

 2.25 millimetre (0.0885826771653543 in) in diameter, made buoyant by an orange-red oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 globule) and sperm
Spermatozoon
A spermatozoon is a motile sperm cell, or moving form of the haploid cell that is the male gamete. A spermatozoon joins an ovum to form a zygote...

 en masse directly into the water. The fertilized eggs which are said to be 2.0 to 2.5 mm, (and later larva
Larva
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle...

e) are plankton
Plankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

ic, rising to around 200 metres (656.2 ft) to develop, with the young fish eventually descending to deeper waters as they mature. Orange Roughy are also synchronous, shedding sperm and eggs at the same time. The time between fertilization and hatching is thought to be 10 to 20 days; fecundity
Fecundity
Fecundity, derived from the word fecund, generally refers to the ability to reproduce. In demography, fecundity is the potential reproductive capacity of an individual or population. In biology, the definition is more equivalent to fertility, or the actual reproductive rate of an organism or...

 is low, with each female producing only 22,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight which is less than 10 per cent of the average for other species of fish. Also, spawning can last up to 2–3 weeks and starts around June or July. Orange roughy are very slow-growing and do not begin to breed until they are 25-30 years old.

The maturation age used in stock assessments ranges from 23–40 years, which limits population growth/recovery, because each new generation takes so long to start spawning.

Lifespan

The maximum published age of 149 years was determined via radiometric dating
Radiometric dating
Radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates...

 of trace isotope
Isotope
Isotopes are variants of atoms of a particular chemical element, which have differing numbers of neutrons. Atoms of a particular element by definition must contain the same number of protons but may have a distinct number of neutrons which differs from atom to atom, without changing the designation...

s found in an orange roughy's otolith
Otolith
An otolith, , also called statoconium or otoconium is a structure in the saccule or utricle of the inner ear, specifically in the vestibular labyrinth of vertebrates. The saccule and utricle, in turn, together make the otolith organs. They are sensitive to gravity and linear acceleration...

 ("ear bone"). Similarly, counting by the growth rings of orange roughy otoliths has given a maximum age of 125 to 156 years. The validity of these results is questioned by commercial fishers as some state the former method is controversial and the latter method is known to underestimate age in older specimens. The issue has yet to be resolved definitively but carries important implications relating to the orange roughy's conservation status
Conservation status
The conservation status of a group of organisms indicates whether the group is still extant and how likely the group is to become extinct in the near future...

.

Threats

In recent years, human consumption of orange roughy has risen drastically due to increased supply through new deep-sea trawling
Trawling
Trawling is a method of fishing that involves pulling a fishing net through the water behind one or more boats. The net that is used for trawling is called a trawl....

 techniques. Its recovery rate from fishing is slow because its long life cycle and sporadic reproduction making the fish prone to overfishing. Due to habitat damage of commercial trawling; which is the catching of Orange Roughy, some may not venture out during mating season. Studies have shown a decline in species associated with Orange Roughy, either indirectly through trophic interactions or directly through catching them, such as sea coral.

The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 continues to import up to 8,620 tonne
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

s (19 million lb
Pound (mass)
The pound or pound-mass is a unit of mass used in the Imperial, United States customary and other systems of measurement...

) per year. Several major food retailers have established seafood sustainability policies dealing with orange roughy. Some, such as Safeway, Inc., allow the sale of the fish, while others explicitly prohibit its sale. A 2003 joint report by the TRAFFIC Oceania and World Wildlife Foundation Endangered Seas Program argues that there is "probably no such thing as an economically viable deep-water fishery that is also sustainable." and concluded that "Similarly, international agreements to reduce fishing capacity, to remove subsidies which encourage over-fishing, to encourage co-operation in management of fish stocks and flag States to take responsibility for their vessels fishing on the high seas, appear to have gone largely unheeded, to the detriment of deep-sea species and their associated ecosystems."

In addition to the dangers for the species, bottom trawling
Bottom trawling
Bottom trawling is trawling along the sea floor. It is also often referred to as "dragging".The scientific community divides bottom trawling into benthic trawling and demersal trawling...

 has been heavily criticized by environmentalists for its destructive nature. The destructive nature of bottom trawling combined with heavy commercial demand has focused criticism from both environmentalists and media.

The Australian orange roughy fishery was not discovered until the 1970s, but by 2008, the biomass was down to 10% of the unfished level. It was the first commercially sought fish to appear on Australia's endangered species
Endangered species
An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters...

 list because of overfishing.

Conservation

Conservation measures consist of imperfectly-enforced catch limits, and listings on various endangered species and do-not-eat lists maintained by governments and environmental activist organizations.

According to sustainable seafood guides, such as Seafood Watch
Seafood Watch
Seafood Watch is one of the best known sustainable seafood advisory lists, and has influenced similar programs around the world. It is a program designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources...

 (USA), the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand
Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand
The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. is an environmental organisation specialising in conservation of indigenous plant and animal life in and around New Zealand....

, the Marine Conservation Society
Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society a UK charity for the protection of the seas around the United Kingdom, and for the protection of their shores and wildlife.According to their website MCS's Vision is:Their website also states:...

 (UK), consumers should strongly avoid the species.

Orange roughy is New Zealand's highest value fishery, accounting for 17.2% of total finfish export earnings. The generally accepted fishery management practice is to quickly reduce the original biomass (fish down stage) to a target of 30%. Once this target is achieved, quotas are set. For example, assuming a hypothetical unfished biomass of 100,000 tons, 70,000 tons is considered "surplus" and unrestrained fishing is allowed to remove it. Quotas are set to maintain the 30,000 ton target biomass. The catch size that allows this is the maximum sustainable yield
Maximum sustainable yield
In population ecology and economics, maximum sustainable yield or MSY is, theoretically, the largest yield that can be taken from a species' stock over an indefinite period...

 and was originally believed to be 1,200 tons per year. By 2005, it became obvious this quota was too high.

The New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries has reduced catch quotas each year because the species' maturation and reproduction rates have been repeatedly overestimated. Antons Trawling, Ltd. represents 66% of the orange roughy quotas, and appealed the northern fishery's (ORH1) 2008 quota, which reduced the total allowable catch (TAC) from 1,470 tons to 914 tons. In February 2008, the High Court overturned the new quota, ruling the Minister did not have the legal power to set quotas for ORH1 because the strict interpretation of the Fisheries Act required an accurate population assessment and comparison to how many there should be. Due to the expense and difficulty of conducting assessments, only 20% of the areas had assessments. The majority of the unassessed areas had TACs of 10 tons or less, with a few notable exceptions, such as ORH1. As assessments in these areas to replace existing monitoring systems were neither cost effective nor technically feasible, the court recommended amendments to the Act. However, the new quotas are estimated to sustainably support only 11% of the unfished population size. Also, catch misreporting is a serious and common problem, with one ORH1 permit holder pleading guilty in 2008 to exceeding his quota by 180 tons, which by itself represents 12% of the quota. Area limits and feature limits are also routinely exceeded. The Area A catch limit of 200 tons has been exceeded every year, while the 30 ton limit for the Mercury-Colville features has been exceeded in three of the last four years, including a catch of 64 tons in 2004-05. Since orange roughy is a valuable export, the Ministry of Fisheries has launched projects to study the fish.

In 2010, Greenpeace International added orange roughy (deep sea perch) to its seafood red list, which contains fish that are generally sourced from unsustainable fisheries.

Further reading

  • Clover, Charles. 2004. The End of the Line: How overfishing is changing the world and what we eat. Ebury Press, London. ISBN 0-09-189780-7
  • Earle, Sylvia. 2009. The World is Blue. National Geographic. ISBN 1426205414

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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