The current allowable Chatham Rise catch is 27 percent of the 1988/89 peak of 38,300 tonnes.
The actual 2006-07 commercial catch in the Chatham Rise catch is 35 percent of the peak in 1988/89 of 32,300 tonnes.
Continued reduction of the quota raises questions about the sustainability of orange roughy.
When setting catch limits for the last two fishing years, the Fisheries Minister has expressed significant reservations about the quality and reliability of the scientific stock assessment of orange roughy on the Chatham Rise.
Many seamounts and smaller hills on the Chatham Rise that were principal orange roughy habitats, have been scraped clean from extensive bottom trawling.
Another area where the Minister of Fisheries has reduced the TACC is the northern North Island orange roughy fishery (ORH 1), which is down to 870 tonnes per year, a 38 percent reduction from 1,400 tonnes in 2006-07.
In 2006, the commercial catch in the northern North Island fishery was reduced by 43 percent to 800 tonnes, but was increased during the 2006-07 fishing year.
The actual catch in ORH 1 in 2006-07 was 1,035 tonnes, which was 365 tonnes less than the TACC, and down 14 percent from the previous year.
The Western South Island orange roughy fishery (ORH 7B) has been closed altogether with little prospect of it reopening in the short or middle term. The TACC was 110 tonnes in the 2006-07 fishing year.
The reduced catch limits follow a familiar downward trend. As orange roughy stocks decline, the management system which the government commonly calls the best in the world, simply keeps lowering the allowable catch.