Welcome to the first design from my new series collection, Sustain the Sea!!
The Orange Roughy Fingerless Gloves.
This pattern is a mid-length fingerless glove. I have selected a ‘scale’ pattern to highlight its fishy tribute, with the seed stitch thumb further hinting at marine origins. The stretchy bind and ribbing represents fins. The colour is that of the orange roughy fish.
These gloves are knitted to a tight gauge to prevent stretching during wear. They fit the arm like a second skin, and will keep you nice and snug on those crisp autumn and winter mornings.
Sizing: One size. Fits the average woman. Approx 25cm/10″ long and 18cm/7″ around before wear. Worn with between 0 – 2″ negative ease.
You need: 70g of high twist wool sock yarn. For this sample, I have used Fibre Alive Merino Mania in a one-off colourway, wonderfully named “Orange Roughy”. An available alternative in the exact same colour and style of yarn is Knitsch 100% New Zealand merino sock yarn in Charlemange.
Other suitable alternatives available overseas include in the US, Koigu KPPM, Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, or in the UK, high-twist BFL sock yarn or the merino/nylon/ stellina sparkle 4 ply such as the ones brought in to New Zealand by Doe Arnot). Any yarns with the same sock weight, with high wool content and in high twist spin will be suitable to get the same effect as you see above. Wool is important for its stretch, and the high twist gives the “scales” definition.
Needles: 2.25mm (US1) DPNs
Gauge: 10 sts x 14 rows to 2.5cm / 1″ in scale stitch pattern
Skill level: Familiarity with knitting in the round and ability to read charts would be useful.
Download here: Free pattern: Orange Roughy Fingerless Gloves or from Ravelry. In return, I ask that you ‘pay me’ by buying “good choice” fish when you next decide to have a fish dinner. 🙂
My thanks to the oldest boy for his fantastic photography at Makara Beach.
About the orange roughy
I have chosen to tribute the orange roughy to begin this series. This fish heads the “do not eat” and “worst choice” list on all “Best Fish Guide” lists that are currently produced by any marine conservation organisation. In fact, it is arguable that this fish should be on the menu at all as there is no truly sustainable way of catching this fish.
The orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) is a bright red, deep sea fish. Its colour fades to a light, pinkish orange after death. It is part of the slimehead family, and also known in other countries as deepsea perch, sea perch, red roughy, hoplostete orange, granatbarsch, pesce arancio, beryx de nouvelle-zelande, or rosy soldierfish (Wikipedia).
New Zealand and Australian orange roughy stocks were discovered in the 1970’s. Since then, although quotas have been reduced in recent years, and several fishery areas closed due to over-fishing, most populations of orange roughy stocks still open to fishing are now only one-fifth of their original unfished size in the 1970’s. In fact, orange roughy in Australia is listed as “Conservation Dependent” and protected under national environmental law. (Australian Marine Conservation Society)
The orange roughy is extremely long-lived – as far as we know, it can live up to 150 years. The fish are caught around sea mounts using bottom-trawling as they congregate to spawn or feed. Most caught fish are around 30 – 40 cm long (their size at approx. 20 – 30 years of age) although they can grow to twice this size. Very little is known about orange roughy reproductive habits. It is likely that individual orange roughy do not spawn every year once they reach maturity at 20+ years, and when they do, the fish release less eggs than other species.
In addition to the obvious consequences of catching a slow growing, low-fertility fish as it is in the process of reproducing, bottom trawling destroys sea floor species assemblages and fragile seamount habitats, where the fish are found. It effectively bulldozes the sea floor demolishing black corals, lace corals, coral trees, colourful sponge fields and long-lived bryozoans, some aged at over 500 years old (Forest & Bird). Deep water sharks and other non-target fish species are also caught. Endangered seabird and sea lion by catch has also been reported. Little is known about deep sea environments. What harm are we causing besides the obvious destruction? What are we doing to the deep sea eco-system by removing this important part of the food chain?
Due to its long life, the orange roughy contains high levels of mercury in its flesh. It is also very low in omega-3 fatty-acids, making this fish a much less nutritionally suitable fish for human consumption than other species.
Current statistic indicate that orange roughy is mostly exported to the USA (69%) and Australia (18%), with some to the UK, Europe and China. Orange roughy is also sold in New Zealand.
Although quotas exist for this fish, it is admitted that it is unknown whether the levels permitted by the quotas are sustainable. Statistics indicate that once exploited, orange roughy populations have not recovered.
After reading the facts, I believe that fishing for orange roughy is undoubtedly not sustainable in any form.
Please do not eat orange roughy.
Forest & Bird Best fish guide