29 Sep 2008

Orange roughy catch limit cut

3:31 pm on 29 September 2008

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has reduced the catch limit for orange roughy near the Chatham Islands.

From Wednesday, the total allowable catch for orange roughy will be reduced by 14% to 9,890 tonnes a year. The commercial catch limit will also be reduced by the same percentage to 9,420 tonnes.

Mr Anderton says the decision is the first step of a new fishery plan.

He says orange roughy grow very slowly and reach maturity only after 30 years, so they have low productivity compared with normal fish stocks.

The main orange roughy fisheries are found on the East and South Chatham Rise.

Sanford Limited managing director Eric Barratt says most in the fishing industry back the decision because the reduction is needed to sustain fish stocks.