The United States government may recommend that orange roughy be classified as a threatened species.
The recommendation would be made to CITES, the world body overseeing trade of wild animals and plants.
If the move was accepted it would put greater restirctions on commerical fishing of the species and a strict monitoring programme would have to be set up.
Recent NZ government estimates put the number of adult orange roughy in New Zealand waters at around 140 million.
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