The Safina Center

Coho salmon.Coho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Species has a combination of problems such as overfishing, high bycatch, and poor management.
Orange Roughy – New Zealand These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

Orange Roughy are a long-lived, late maturing species with a relatively low fecundity (fertility). They can live to be more than 100 years old and don’t mature until they’re in their late 20’s. Most Orange Roughy in the U.S. market comes from New Zealand.

Years of heavy pressure on Orange Roughy caused significant declines in their abundance. In recent years, there has been some improvement in the management of the Orange Roughy fisheries and some populations are rebuilding; however, other remain depleted.

Orange Roughy are caught with bottom trawls, which cause severe damage to the sensitive deep-sea habitats where Orange Roughy live. As well, bycatch in this fishery may include fragile coral species.

Full species report here.

This fish may have high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children.  More info here about mercury in Orange Roughy. Check out our mercury in seafood section.