Monday, September 19, 2011

Kiwis Go Into That Dark Basement

New Zealand is learning the hard way, as so many other nations have and are. The oceans are finite and yes, we can remove entire populations of important and valuable marine species. Nearly scripted, the government is defensive.

To see this played out again, in another fishery, in another place, in another ecosystem, is akin to watching a standard horror movie: "Don't go into that dark basement where you just heard all those thumps and groans. Don't go alone with a faulty flashlight. Don't do it!"

"Fishing for orange roughy started in New Zealand and grew rapidly through the 1980s and 1990s. However, most of the fisheries were overexploited and catch levels have either been dramatically reduced or the fisheries closed all together," said Dr Malcolm Clark, a New Zealand-based fisheries biologist, who helped write the paper.

"The same pattern has been repeated in Australia, Namibia, the South West Indian Ocean, Chile and Ireland. It demonstrates how vulnerable deep-sea fish species can be to overfishing and potential stock collapse," according to

Australia declared orange roughy a threatened species in 2006. The species takes 30 years to reach sexual maturity and can live up to 125 years. Do the math.

No comments: