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Ugly-looking fish bring beautiful bucks: the 'in-depth' New Zealand fisheries story.

What do hoki, orange roughies, oreo dories, ling and southern blue whiting have in common? They're all "caught from depths of between 400 and 1,000 meters, and all are rather ugly in appearance."

But they've sure brought in some beautiful business for New Zealand, David Hogg of Sealord Products told the International Seafood Conference - especially hoki, which now accounts for 40% of the country's entire catch.

New Zealand harvested 226,000 tons greenweight of hoki in 1991, and while the total fell to about 205,000 last year, "the resource potential looks very good, with some opportunity in two years' time for an increase back to a higher level." Meanwhile, Hogg reported, the potential is also strong for such other species as ling and southern blue whiting.

Unlike other groundfish species, southern blue whiting isn't restricted by a quota. Catch for 1991 was 34,207 tons, and that is believed to have increased to about 50,000 last year. "Projections for catch in the coming year are only guesswork, but in the range of 40,000 or 50,000 is not unreasonable," Hogg said. Thanks to long-lining, meanwhile, the ling harvest was 13,000 tons (still below the quota of 20,000) in 1991 and about the same last year.

"A large proportion of southern blue whiting is converted to surimi," he noted, but it is increasingly seen for some applications as a processing white fish." That may be a repeat of the hoki story: Japan, which catches nearly half the tonnage from New Zealand waters, used to turn most of it into surimi - 132,000 tons in 1988-89, for example, vs. just 35,000 tons destined for fillets - but for 1991-92, only 20,000 tons were devoted to surimi vs. 70,000 tons to headed and gutted fillets.

Of the 125,000 tons of hoki available to the non-Japanese market last year, 30,000 - all in fillet form - came from the Japanese fleet. Some 40,000 tons were processed at sea as fillets by the Norwegian fleet, and exported mostly in the United States (for use by fish and chip chains) and Britain (for the retail market). Of 30,000 tons in whole form, caught by the domestic fleet, most was exported to the U.S., Britain and Europe, but a quarter or so was consumed in New Zealand and Australia. The total of 30,000 tons from the Japanese fleet, plus 25,000 (headed and gutted) from the Russian fleet were processed by Sealord (35,000 tons) and other domestic and foreign concerns operating in New Zealand.

Production of greenshell mussels, New Zealand's exercise in aquaculture, is expected to reach 50,000 tons this year, up from 44,000 in 1991 and 36,000 in 1990. Markets for mussels range from the Shirkan Zen in Japan to Migros department stores in Switzerland and the Chicago Fish House in the USA. Oreo dories were hard to come by in 1991 - only 17,133 tons were caught, out of a quota of 26,156. They're a nuisance to deal with, too - you have to know the difference between the smooth and black varieties to make a buying decision. Squid catch, only 41,000 tons in 1991 vs. 49,000 in 1990, has lagged "basically through lack of fishing effort," and barely a third of the 1992 quota of 118,571 tons was expected to be caught. As for orange roughies, on which the New Zealand fishing industry first rode to fame, it hasn't been smooth going: they are being fished down - catch was off from 47,000 tons for 1990 to 33,000 for 1991 and perhaps even less last year. A quota of 35,510 tons was allocated partly to waters which don't even have any orange roughies.

Are New Plants Undermining

Lake Victoria Fish Stocks?

The Tanzanian government has been urged to check the proliferation of Lake Victoria fish filleting plants in order to prevent resources from being exhausted in the world's second largest fresh water body.

Thus far, four fish processing factories have been established in the Mwanza municipality alone, with eight more expected to come on line soon. Most pack Nile Perch, which is increasingly marketed abroad.

"If all these plants start operating in 1993, there will be no fish left for ordinary local people. And two Years later Lake Victoria could be fished out," said Philip Bwathondi, director general of the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute.

Noting that the establishment of fish processing industries has positively contributed to the national economy, the director general nonetheless warned that uncontrolled development will result in a short-lived business boom.

He complained that the entrepreneurs have built high capacity plants without consulting fisheries experts on the lake's fish stock sustainability and biomass outlook.

Study Says Lemon Kills

Cancer-Causing Agents

A squeeze of lemon does more for grilled fish than add a fresh taste. It can kill dangerous carcinogens.

The Vitamin C in fresh lemons eradicated carcinogens, that formed on the charred surface of grilled fish, the Tokyo Shimbum quoted a joint study by the Science and Technology Agency and Yamagata Prefecture as saying.

The researchers developed an electronic device to accurately measure the level of "free radicals," substances that have a high rate of chemical reaction and are believed to cause cancer and other diseases.
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Title Annotation:New Zealand orange roughy, oreo dory, ling, southern blue whiting and hoki fish
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:886
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