Orange roughy ecolabel to assist exports
Sealord has welcomed the next step in the journey to have New Zealand orange roughy globally recognised as a sustainable
Three of the main orange roughy fisheries have been submitted for assessment by the Marine Stewardship Council
to verify if they can carry the world’s best known marine ecolabel.
New Zealand’s quota management system has allowed industry and government to work together to achieve this and Sealord
Fishing General Manager, Doug Paulin, says that MSC certification will provide an additional assurance to customers.
“Globally, New Zealand seafood has a great reputation and Sealord customers will be supportive of this new measure to
show retailers and customers alike orange roughy is a sustainable choice,” said Paulin.
More than a decade of work has been done to improve stocks, including closures and conservative fishing levels that see
at least 95 of every 100 adult orange roughy being left in the ocean.
Scientific surveys now show New Zealand orange roughy stocks are healthy, with more than 156 million adult fish in our
waters and even greater numbers of young, juvenile fish.
As the largest quota holder of orange roughy, Sealord has been at the forefront of investing in science and research to
make sure the orange roughy fisheries are understood.
This includes the first investment in the world by a private fishing company in a multi-frequency Acoustic Optical System (AOS)
– deep sea technology that allows scientists to use acoustics (sound) at different frequencies, and optics (visuals) to
better understand fish and the marine environment.
The equipment has provided some never before seen footage of orange roughy
at depths of more than 1000m and better, more accurate information about the species.
“Sealord isn’t stopping here, we are now working on ways to have real-time video footage of the nets as they fish to
improve accuracy and further minimise impacts trawling has on the marine environment,” said Paulin.