New Zealand company purchases survey technology

4th June 2013

The Sealord Group, New Zealand’s largest seafood company, has announced it has purchased a NZ$750,000 acoustic optical system (AOS) to conduct research on New Zealand fish stocks. An AOS is a device that emits multiple frequency signals to calculate the amount of fish present. It is particularly effective in assessing aggregations of deep-sea fish and has been used in Australasia to assess blue grenadier (hoki) and orange roughy. The New Zealand Minister of Primary Industries the Honorable Nathan Guy launched the new AOS on board Sealord’s vessel the Thomas Harrison. Mr Guy stated that it will provide a boost to the science that contributes to New Zealand’s world recognised Quota Management System. Sealord’s announcement is a bitter sweet development for the Association. The survey technology was conceived by Australian orange roughy scientists and developed in Australia through several surveys run by SETFIA at a cost of more than $1m. New Zealand seems to be growing its reputation for world leading fisheries science in using the AOS while the Australian stock assessment process is slow to fully adopt the results of the very successful AOS surveys run on eastern Tasmanian ORS stocks. SETFIA plans to run another AOS survey of eastern orange roughy stocks in July in the hope that the scientifically robust AOS surveys will be used to assess that fishery in the near future.