Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Orange Roughy

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
Orange Roughy Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Slimehead Worldwide Wild

Orange Roughy, Wild, Worldwide

A deep-sea fish also known as the "slimehead," orange roughy grows slowly and reproduces late in life. These traits make it especially vulnerable to overfishing.

Consumer Note

Orange roughy lives 100 years or more - so the fillet in your freezer might be from a fish older than your grandmother!

Health Alert

Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for orange roughy due to high levels of mercury.


Years of heavy fishing have decimated orange roughy populations. Although there are fishery management plans in place, scientists predict it could take decades for populations to recover.

Another concern with orange roughy is the way it's caught. Bottom trawls are problematic, causing damage to seafloor habitat, especially in the fragile, deep-sea ecosystems where orange roughy live. For these reasons, orange roughy are rated as a species to "Avoid."

Scientific Reports About Our Ratings
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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat