Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 29 January 2016



Friday Update is Seafood New Zealand's weekly email from our Chief Executive.


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orange roughy video


NZ orange roughy enters final stage of MSC certification assessment

 A milestone was reached this week with three New Zealand orange roughy fisheries entering the final stage of Marine Stewardship Council certification.
 That means the fish that environmental groups have postered as the epitome of bad fishing practice is about to receive the sustainable gold standard.
 The independent assessment is rigorous and protracted.
 The deepwater fishing sector, in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries, has invested heavily over 17 years to reach this stage.
 There has been collaboration since 1998 with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop effective ways to assess the numbers of orange roughy and ensure they are fished conservatively.
 Sealord has led the New Zealand end of the work in developing an innovative Acoustic Optical System that attaches to the trawl and sends  back video of schooling roughy a kilometre below the surface.
 The information collected is used to estimate future roughy numbers by modelling how the population will alter under different catch scenarios.
 It is estimated that for every 100 adult orange roughy, less than five are harvested each year, leaving at least 95 to ensure continuing healthy stocks.
 The three stocks under assessment – two on the Chatham Rise to the east and one on the opposite coast northwest of the South Island – represent around 60 percent of the total orange roughy catch. A fourth off the North Island east coast is being prepared for assessment.
 These are the first roughy fisheries in the world to undergo assessment in MSC’s global programme.
 The evaluation includes whether:

  • the orange roughy stocks are healthy
  • the fisheries are adversely affecting the marine ecosystem
  • there is ongoing effective management

 The environmental performance by the companies fishing roughy is independently monitored by government observers and that has fed into the MSC assessment.
 Last year there were no interactions with dolphins, fur seals, sea lions or protected shark species. Highly effective seabird mitigation devices that stop birds flying into the wire warps attached to the net have reduced mortality to almost nil. 
 Bottom trawling for roughy occurs in small localised areas. A third of New Zealand’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone out to 200 nautical miles is closed to bottom trawling at industry’s initiative.
 It is more than 35 years since the orange roughy fishery was developed and quickly became the most valuable deepwater species.
 Little was known about its life cycle and in the rush to exploit what later became apparent was a slow growing and long lived species, there was overfishing.
 But catch reductions, set at zero in some cases as areas were closed, and conservative harvest levels have seen stocks recover.
 Roughy  has been the target of environmental activists which led to several major US retail chains refusing to stock it.
 The MSC stamp is expected to remove such policies.
 However, a new market has emerged in China in the last several years for brightly coloured whole roughy as a banquet fish. 
 And the Chinese are prepared to pay top dollar for such trophy fish. The beauty of that is it is for the whole fish, not just the fillets.
 Seafood NZ chairman and Deepwater Group chief executive George Clement has been involved in the orange roughy fishery from the start and is gratified to see it reach this stage.
 “MSC certification gives our customers around the world assurance that our seafood is harvested sustainably,” he said. 
 More than 70 percent of New Zealand’s deepwater catch is already certified as sustainable under the MSC programme.
 That includes hoki, by far the biggest volume, hake, ling and southern blue whiting.
 The draft report on the orange roughy assessment is open for public comment and is available on the MSC website. 

NZ orange roughy on MSC's website



Click button for the latest on New Zealand orange roughy's MSC certification assessment




Pan-fried New Zealand orange roughy with a citrus cauliflower salad.




Auckland Seafood Festival
starts today!

A celebration of New Zealand’s seafood, with live music and celebrity chef demonstrations from January 29 to February 1. There is a variety of demonstrations on offer this year - how to shuck and cook paua, smoking salmon, and a blind oyster tasting with chef Martin Bosley.

Festival highlights

TradeZone Kids Gone Fishin’, from 10am to noon on Saturday and Sunday at Wynyard Quarter. Kids join festival ambassador and Gone Fishin’ star Graeme Sinclair and the Blue Light team for a great morning of fishing. 

Fish Filleting Competition, from 2.30 to 3.30pm on Monday at the Soundshell.
New Zealand’s leading filleters race against the clock to fillet 10kg of fish in the fastest time, while obtaining the highest possible yield.

Blessing of the Fleet at 1.30pm on Monday at the Soundshell. Hosted by Frankie Stevens, the ceremony includes a performance from Handel Quire and a cannon salute.

Until Monday, February 1


In the Media



Japan enjoys premium New Zealand salmon sashimi

Stuff (January 26) reported on president Junichi Hakuta of Daiko Corporation, one of Japan's major food service outlets, visiting New Zealand King Salmon's Te Pungu farm in Marlborough. Daiso specialises in distributing seafood products to more than 100 four-to-five star hotels in Tokyo and Osaka. New Zealand King Salmon's Japan based area manager Rob Morris said Marlborough's Ora King premium grade salmon was sought after by Japanese consumers. Daiso take about 30 tonnes of Ora King salmon annually but is looking at increasing that up to 150-200 tonnes within the next 3-4 years, Morris said. Read more



From left: NZKS Tokyo distribution representive Tadashi Sato, seawater operations manager Baz Henare, and Daiso president Junichi Hakuta at the salmon farm. Photo: Fairfax




Photo: Chris Sisarich 


Ocean to Plate in 36 hours: the
Lee Fish Story

Idealog (January 25) featured Leigh Fisheries in their latest edition in association with The NZ Story. The article's focus was on the company's philosophy of kaitiaki or guardianship, which ensures the fish are caught in a way that waste is prevented, and are killed using the Japanese iki-jime method, which kills them instantly, while preserving freshness and taste. The article said key to the Leigh Fisheries story was its ability to trace fish back to its origin, with each box carrying the fisher and boat names on it. Read more  




MPI proposes clam quota increase in Marlborough, West Coast

Stuff (January 25) reported on the Ministry for Primary Industries proposing an increase to the total commercial catch for triangle shell clams, or diamond shell clams, from 112 to 223 tonnes in zone seven, which covers Marlborough, Nelson and most of the West Coast. Marlborough company Cloudy Bay Clams is the only commercial operator in the area. The total commercial catch for three other species, ringed dosinia, southern tuatua and storm clam, might also be increased. Read more 



On a lighter note...



Fashionable fisherman Joe Watson sails on the boat Rip Tide in Bridlington. Photo: Simon Kench


Fisherman fashion: The latest trend with a heritage in Hull's trawlermen

Hull Daily Mail (January 27) reported on 'Smart trawlermen from Hull' possibly inspiring some latest fashion trends. The article quoted fashion historian Amber Butchart telling Guardian fashion columnist Morwenna Ferrier: "fishermen had always been pretty stylish". They have a style all of their own, the article said. From beanie hats with rolls and knitted jumpers to high turn-up trousers, shoppers could now get their hands on it all to complete the ultimate fisherman's look! Read more