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Review of sustainability measures for orange roughy (ORH 3B) – 2023 October round


26 September 2023 – Submissions released

Following the consultation, we have released the public submissions received for 2023 Review of Orange Roughy (ORH 3B).

Submissions received for 2023 Review of Orange Roughy (ORH 3B) [PDF, 7 MB]

21 September 2023 – Minister’s decision released

Following consultation, the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries has made decisions on sustainability measures for the orange roughy fishery on the Chatham Rise and southern New Zealand for the 2023/24 fishing year.

Summary table of the minister’s decision for ORH 3B


Stock (area)


Decision summary

Orange roughy / nihorota

Chatham Rise and southern New Zealand


  • Decrease the TAC from 8,355 to 4,995 tonnes
  • Decrease the allowance for all other mortality caused by fishing from 383 to 238 tonnes
  • Decrease the TACC from 7,967 to 4,752 tonnes

Decision letter and advice paper

The decision letter – Minister for Oceans and Fisheries [PDF, 465 KB]

Review of sustainability measures for orange roughy for 2023/24 – Fisheries New Zealand decision paper [PDF, 1.3 MB]

The Minister for Oceans and Fisheries has made decisions on sustainability measures for a number of other selected fish stocks as part of the October 2023 sustainability round. More information on those decisions can be found in the minister’s decision letter above, or by visiting the:

Consultation background

Fisheries New Zealand sought feedback on proposed changes to sustainability measures for orange roughy (ORH 3B) as part of the 2023 October sustainability round. The ORH 3B stock covers orange roughy across Southland, the East Coast of the South Island, the Sub-Antarctic and the Chatham Islands. We invited feedback from tangata whenua, stakeholders, and the public on these proposed changes.

About the proposed changes

Fisheries New Zealand reviews catch limits for selected stocks twice a year. This is consistent with the purpose of the Fisheries Act 1996 to allow for sustainable utilisation.

We reviewed catch limits and allowances for ORH 3B (Southland, east coast South Island, Sub-Antarctic, Chatham Islands).

The proposals for ORH 3B were assessed:

  • in the context of the relevant statutory requirements; and
  • using the best available information, including the latest scientific information on the status of the stocks and tangata whenua and stakeholder input.

Research in 2023 re-evaluated recent stock assessments for the East and South Chatham Rise – the largest fishery and sub-stock in ORH 3B. This work identified inconsistencies between the biomass and trends estimated by the stock assessment model and observational data. The previous assessment was rejected, and stock status is unknown.

The acoustic survey series and unstandardised catch per unit effort shows flat or declining trends across many areas, giving rise to a sustainability concern for ORH 3B. We're proposing 3 options to reduce the total allowable catch (TAC), total allowable commercial catch (TACC), and allowance for other sources of mortality caused by fishing for this stock.

The options would see reductions to the TAC of about 15%, 35%, or 40% respectively with associated voluntary reductions in the sub-area catch limit for the east and south Chatham Rise (ESCR). Fisheries New Zealand considered these options respond to sustainability concerns with various levels of caution.

Consultation document

Review of sustainability measures for orange roughy (ORH 3B) for 2023/24 [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Related consultation

There is related consultation underway for other fish stocks as part of the 2023 October sustainability round. Submissions on that consultation close earlier (5pm on 17 July 2023).

Review of sustainability measures for 1 October 2023

Legal overview

Our legal overview of sustainability measures provides the main legal requirements as they relate to decision-making on sustainability measures. It also references the relevant provisions in the Fisheries Act 1996.

Legal overview of sustainability measures [PDF, 343 KB]

Related information

Fisheries Act 1996 – NZ Legislation

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000 – NZ Legislation

About the Quota Management System (QMS)

The Harvest Strategy Standard

Operational Guidelines for New Zealand's Harvest Strategy Standard [PDF, 843 KB]

The Deemed Values Guidelines [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Glossary of relevant terms

National Fisheries Plan for deepwater and middle-depth fisheries [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Regional plan provisions and policy statements [PDF, 324 KB]

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation