George I T Clement
CEO of the Deepwater Group
Mr George Clement has almost 40 years experience in New Zealand fisheries management. George promoted the establishment of The Orange Roughy Company which led to quota owners taking an active role in the science, development and sustainable management of New Zealand’s orange roughy fisheries, culminating in their assessment under the Marine Stewardship Council’s sustainable fisheries programme. George is a former president of the Fishing Industry Association, is currently the CEO of the Deepwater Group, the Executive Chairman of Seafood New Zealand, is a member on the Association of Sustainable Fisheries’ executive, is a member on MSC’s Stakeholder Council and is a fisheries advisor to the Prince of Wales’ Charities International Sustainability Unit.
The New Zealand orange roughy fishery: Journey from overfishing to certification
In the 1980s, newly discovered orange roughy resources were heavily fished in New Zealand. Within two decades, stock sizes decreased to below 20% of original abundance. Scientists estimated orange roughy to be long lived with very low population growth, leading to concerns about whether the stocks could recover. Orange roughy became an example of how not to manage fish stocks. Since 2000, industry, scientists and government have combined to reverse the declines. Investment in new technologies, innovative science, new stock assessment methods, rigorous and precautionary harvest strategies, and voluntary closures of major fishing grounds has paid off – the main orange roughy stocks have been rebuilt. Three stocks have improved to the point of achieving certification under the Marine Stewardship Council in the face of vigorous stakeholder scrutiny. Two more are well on the way to this. Though controversial, the orange roughy story provides a roadmap for sustainable fishery achievements.