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International shipping giant Maersk says it will continue to ship orange roughy caught legally in New Zealand waters while conducting a policy review on sustainable fisheries.

The Denmark-based company said recently it would not carry Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish, orange roughy or any species of shark and whale aboard its ships because of concerns about sustainability, according to an online report from Yahoo News.

Maersk Line New Zealand spokesman Jon Redwood was quoted as saying the company currently accepts all seafood shipments in New Zealand, including orange roughy, that are caught in accordance with local legislation and comply with relevant regulations.

Maersk, he said, was reviewing its policy on future acceptance in consultation with all stake shareholders, and could not speculate the outcome.

“Maersk is determined to be a leader in sustainability and these things are constantly in review, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the review will come to one conclusion or another. It just means it’s being reviewed,” Redwood was quoted as saying.

Ministry of Fisheries chief executive Wayne McNee assured seafood consumers and Maersk that all fisheries under New Zealand’s quota management system were sustainable and well managed.

“It is important to us to make sure that fish will be available for future generations, we will not hesitate to take decisive management action to make sure that happens,” McNee was quoted saying.

New Zealand’s total allowable commercial catch for orange roughy was set at 11,062 metric tonnes for the 2009/10 fishing year and exports last year were worth $51 million.

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