The remarkable turnaround of New Zealand’s orange roughy fishery, long-hailed as an example of overfishing, has been detailed in Tim Pankhurst’s latest book, Roughy on the Rise. Pankhurst, former editor of the Dominion Post and now chief executive of Seafood New Zealand, tells the story of the decline of stocks by overfishing in the 1980s.

“I agreed to write the story on the condition that it was a no-holds-barred account of this vital part of New Zealand’s maritime history,” said Pankhurst. “The 1980s saw a gold rush on the high seas and the fishery was so lucrative it bankrolled the development of the entire seafood industry.”

The book tells the story of the “cowboys” who rode the boom and is a remarkable story of excess to redemption – last year, the fishery gained the global gold standard of sustainability from the Marine Stewardship Council.