New Zealand orange roughy fisheries are well managed
30 March 2010
The Ministry of Fisheries has moved to assure seafood consumers that they can have confidence in the management of New Zealand fisheries.
Our fisheries are carefully managed to ensure sustainability using the world leading quota management system. 1.2 million square kilometres of the seafloor, almost a third of New Zealand’s huge exclusive economic zone, is completely closed to bottom trawling and over 90% of New Zealand waters has never been bottom trawled.
The Ministry of Fisheries has not hesitated to take decisive management action in our orange roughy fisheries, including catch reductions and if necessary fishery closures, if the science shows that is needed to protect sustainability. Rather than being an indicator of a poorly managed fishery, this is evidence of responsible and responsive management.
“Bottom trawling is the main fishing method for catching orange roughy. It takes place within New Zealand’s comprehensive fisheries management system” said Ministry of Fisheries Deputy Chief Executive Gavin Lockwood.
“New Zealand bottom trawling is very closely managed, we know which fishing vessels are bottom trawling, we use satellite monitoring so we know exactly where they are fishing and we require detailed catch reports so we know how much is being caught” he said.
17 areas have been closed to bottom trawling, providing protection to an area of seafloor equal to 1.2 million square kilometres, or an area four times the landmass of New Zealand. These are the largest closures of their type anywhere in the world.
“1.2 million square kilometres of pristine, un-fished seafloor is protected to ensure that the natural bio-diversity and eco-systems are preserved” said Mr Lockwood.
New Zealand’s Quota Management System is internationally regarded as one of the world’s best fisheries management systems. The World Bank has praised New Zealand’s QMS and absence of subsidies as an example of how other countries should manage their fisheries. A major study published in the prestigious journal, Science, rated New Zealand’s fisheries management as first equal out of all marine regions around the world. Most recently, a report published in the Marine Policy journal ranked New Zealand’s fisheries management as the best of the world’s 53 major fishing nations.