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Consequences Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 1996
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The orange roughy, about 12 inches long, is found in waters off New Zealand and was in recent years extensively exported to the U.S. Unlike many fish that appear on menus or market shelves it comes not from surface waters but from darker and colder depths of the ocean--as much as a mile down--and is harvested by technologies that have recently come into greater and greater use. The species is also longer-lived than we: those that survive reach maturity in their 30s and have been found to live 150 years or more. Their slow rate of growth and development make the orange roughy particularly susceptible to overfishing, and within the last year, the catch has fallen to but a fraction of what was harvested earlier in the decade.

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