Orange roughy fisheries certified as sustainable

Press Release: 9 December 2016, Minister Nathan Guy and Ministry for Primary Industries

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed certification of several orange roughy fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

“This is a great success and recognition for a fishery that was in real trouble in the early 1990s,” says Mr Guy.

“A huge amount of work has gone into rebuilding this fishery over the years by industry and successive Governments. To now have it recognised as sustainable by an independent, international body is worth celebrating.”

MSC is an international non-profit organisation which recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices around the world. The certification follows two years of review and assessment by an independent team of experts.

Orange roughy is a deepwater species with the key fisheries in the Chatham Rise and to the north west of the South Island. In 2015 it was estimated to generate export earnings of more than $53 million with the US being an important market.

“In the early days of this fishery there was over-fishing which led to greatly reduced catch limits. Since then scientific research has given us better information and new fisheries technology has helped this fishery to rebuild.

“Many international markets are now demanding MSC certification as a baseline requirement, so to have this for such a valuable export fish stock is extremely important.

“It shows the QMS is flexible and effective, and helps support the global reputation of New Zealand as being committed to developing sustainable fisheries.”

Further information on the MSC certification of orange roughy can found on their website:

Other New Zealand species are certified by the MSC are hoki, hake, ling, southern blue whiting and albacore troll.