Eastern orange roughy stock rebuilding strongly

30th August, 2011. For immediate release.

Orange roughy is managed in five zones in southern Australia. The eastern stock is located off the east coast of Tasmania. Targeted fishing for orange roughy is only permitted in one of these five zones, there is no targeted fishing in the eastern zone.

CSIRO today released a report into the state of the eastern orange roughy stock. The eastern stock was recently assessed using world leading technology called an Acoustic Optical System (or AOS). This device uses echo soundings to accurately measure the density of orange roughy in an area.

The report concluded that the best estimate for the eastern stock is 48,000 tonnes. To put this into perspective the weight of orange roughy, in just this one of the five zones, is equivalent to the weight of 100,000 horses. Probably the most important message from this work is that the eastern orange roughy stock is rebuilding and has increased by 7,400 tonnes between 2006 and 2010.
Australian fisheries are managed under the EPBC Act (1999) and the Fisheries Management Act (1991). These acts set strict rules about how Australian fisheries are managed.

Simon Boag, the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association’s CEO said, “This report comes as no surprise to the fishing industry. Although roughy was overfished, very strong fisheries management legislation in Australia means that the fishery is rebuilding well. Australian fisheries are recognised as the best managed in the world. To make a sustainable choice consumers should ask for Australian caught fish”.