Orange roughy fisheries are a testament to unsustainable fishing. The species is long-lived, slow growing and late maturing, making it extremely vulnerable to overfishing. In New Zealand, where most of the catches are now taken, the orange roughy fishery has been managed under the quota management system since the early 1980s, but under that system the stocks have been decimated.
The state of New Zealand's orange roughy fishery speaks for itself:
•All the stocks are now overfished (less than 30% of their population remaining)
•Three stocks were fished to collapse (less than 10% remaining) and are now closed – one reached a low of 3%
•Two further stocks are at or near the point of collapse and may be closed shortly
•All the stocks still being fished are in decline or their population trend is unknown