Dear Mr. Howard:
Thank you for forwarding your comments. I have no personal ax to
grind in this, but after talking to Dr. Roper at the NOSB, I would tend
to believe he knows what he's talking about. He has considerable
oceanographic experience actually down in the depths and wouldn't seem
to have any reason to exaggerate the situation. On the other hand, as a
representative of an industry that has a vested interest in keeping the
fishing going, your viewpoint seems less impartial. In any case, If you
wish to contact Dr. Roper, I could ask his permission to send you his
Ted Howard wrote:
> Hi craig & all,
> It's mostly half truths and lies.
> I'm not an expert on Ornage Roughy, but they have been a major fishery here
> for a couple of decades, and I have been involved, albeit on the periphery.
> At 14:57 30/04/98 -0400, you wrote:
> >i suspect some persons on fishfolk might like to comment on this . . .
> >it would probably help to cc any messages to sanet-mg and mr. rombough
> >at the addresses below
> >> ----------
> >> From: Lon J. Rombough[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> >> Reply To: email@example.com
> >> Sent: Thursday 30 April 1998 2:06 PM
> >> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >> Subject: Don't Eat Orange Roughy
> >> Saturday night, April 25, 1998, while attending the National Ocean
> >> Sciences Bowl (see http://core.cast.msstate.edu/NOSBtop.html
> >> ) I heard
> >> Dr. Clyde Roper, world famous oceanographer (you may have seen him on
> >> National Geographic - search for giant squid). He told of something
> >> that was blood-freezing. If you have ever eaten the fish called
> >> Orange
> >> Roughy, READ THIS.
> >> Orange Roughy are found in very pure populations within forests of
> >> certain types of tree coral. The exact age of the coral isn't known,
> >> but comparisons with related species of similar size put the ages of the
> >> coral where the orange roughy dwell at around 1,200 to 2,000 years.
> True enough, the coral is old.
> So are the roughy - 30 - 130 years.
> Roughy don't so much live in it, as congregate above the seamounts that the
> coral grows on.
> >> In order to catch the fish, fishermen first have to drag the nets through
> >> to clear-cut the coral trees. Once done, nearly pure catches of orange
> >> roughy can be taken - THE FIRST YEAR. The second year, the catch is
> >> smaller, but still cost-effective. After that, there aren't enough
> >> Roughy left to be worth catching and the process has to be repeated
> >> elsewhere.
> Utter nonsense.
> The roughy are over the coral, in huge schools.
> Yes sometimes nets hit the seamount surface and destroy the coral, no this
> is not the desire of the skippers (it damages gear, and you may get a
> hookup - which at that depth is expensive and dangerous).
> >> Oh yes, it is believed that the Roughy are a very slow maturing,
> >> long-lived fish and may take 100 to 130 years to reach reproductive
> >> age.
> Highly unlikely.
> Conservative estimates put sexual maturity in unexploited stocks at about
> 30 years (though still much debate over this, and it may be much younger,
> but lets assume 30).
> In most fisheries, unexploited stocks are late maturing, because of
> competition between individuals for food causing slow growth rates.
> Typically, age at sexual maturity decreases as populations shrink, and food
> supplies increase for those remaining.
> It is yet to be determined if this phenomenon will happen with roughy, and
> it seems likely.
> Note - maximum concentrations of roughy occur at depths of 900 - 1200m.
> There isn't much change of environment at these depths, and aging is not
> easy. Nor is any sort of fisheries biology "easy" at these depths.
> >> If EVER there was a case of NON-sustainable agriculture (aquiculture, in
> >> this case), This is IT.
> Not necessarily.
> It may be that we need quite low TACs, much lower than intitial catch
> rates, and that is now the case in this country - and sustainable harvest
> is possible.
> Looks more like a case of a cause looking for funds.
> Ted Howard
> Fisheries Consultant - computer systems and legislative design.
> Ph (+64) 25 424 281 Fax 7 867 3181
> Postal: R.D.6, Thames, NEW ZEALAND
> After 1 July 1998:
> Ph (+64) 25 424 281 Ph/Fax (+64) 3 319 6797
> Physical/Postal: 1 Maui St, Kaikoura, NEW ZEALAND
> Location: 42ƒ25.3'S 173ƒ41.7'E
> Copyright © 1998 Solution-Multipliers Ltd, all rights reserved.
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