Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Today we read with dismay a press release from Green Peace gloating over the fact that some international retailers have stopped stocking Orange Roughy. 

Retailers pull orange roughy
Greenpeace says the Government must stop fishing orange roughy, after two more major international retailers confirmed they have dropped the fish from sale due to sustainability concerns.

“The rest of the world is saying “no thanks” to our unsustainable seafood, but our Government insists on continuing to exploit it,” said Karli Thomas, Greenpeace New Zealand oceans campaigner.
Last week Trader Joes, a USA chain with over 300 supermarkets, confirmed it had discontinued sales of orange roughy "based on customer feedback and in support of work to source sustainable seafood."(1)
Last month Canada’s largest retail chain, Loblaw, confirmed it had stopped stocking orange roughy and Patagonian toothfish for similar reasons. Since the start of 2009 four Canadian supermarket chains have stopped selling orange roughy and one has removed hoki from sale.

This is a growing trend and one that the Seafood industry needs to counter. A PR offensive to counter this disinformation is critical before its too late. 

However we were delighted that  the Ministry of Fisheries defended the nations management of fish stocks. This is a new and welcome phenomemon. The Ministry is responsible for the integrity of the fisheries management system but has been slow to defend it in the past leaving that to the Seafood Industry. We  have never heard of Mr Lockwood before  but sounds like he has the sort of integrity and balls the Ministry has needed for a long long time. 

 The ministry today said fish stocks were carefully managed to ensure sustainability, using a world leading quota management system.
"Bottom trawling is the main fishing method for catching orange roughy. It takes place within New Zealand's comprehensive fisheries management system," ministry deputy chief executive Gavin Lockwood said.
"New Zealand bottom trawling is very closely managed, we know which fishing vessels are bottom trawling, we use satellite monitoring so we know exactly where they are fishing and we require detailed catch reports so we know how much is being caught."
Seventeen areas have been closed to bottom trawling, providing protection to an area of seafloor equal to 1.2 million square kilometres, or an area four times the landmass of New Zealand, Mr Lockwood said. These were the largest closures of their type anywhere in the world, he said.
"One point two million square kilometres of pristine, un-fished seafloor is protected to ensure that the natural bio-diversity and eco-systems are preserved," Mr Lockwood said.
New Zealand's Quota Management System was internationally regarded as one of the world's best fisheries management systems, he said.

Love that man!  Give him a long free lunch at Shed 5.


alex masterley said...

Greenpeace really do want us to go back to the dark ages?
Bloody luddites.

jv said...

...."for a long long time". I couldn't agree more

Medusa said...

Patagonian toothfish are a far more endangered thanks to illegal poaching. My husband does orange roughy stock research. Greenpeace is a joke, it is actually hurting folk who work in the industry that support it by this idiocy of trying to cripple NZ's seafood industry. Thanks for the heads up BB

CW said...

Ae ra. I was talking the other day to the son of the man who did the original Orange Roughy discovery..... It is quite clear that there is much rhetoric espoused which is just unsubstantiated.

I hope Phil Heatly has learned a lesson and takes note of a saying that comes from our Hawaiin cousins; and grows some bigger Kahuna's. Mauri ora!