Today Greenpeace activists have occupied a fishing trawler in the port of Auckland to highlight that Foodtown and other supermarkets are fueling a demand for seafood caught from unsustainable fisheries using the worst of fishing methods.
Three activists have locked themselves to the Seamount Explorer and several more have set up a cordon of chain in the water surrounding the vessel.
At this time of year the Seamount Explorer catches orange roughy using the destructive bottom trawling method that flattens the ocean floor and leaves it completely barren of life for years to come. Foodtown stocks orange roughy from this catch. If Foodtown and other retailers choose not to stock orange roughy and other species caught using bottom trawling the practice will stop.
Our activists will attempt to prevent the vessel from leaving port until we get a commitment from Foodtown that they will adopt a sustainable seafood procurement policy.
Please send your own message to the Supermarkets to support this action.
We'll keep you posted as the situation develops.Greenpeace has repeatedly called on the food giants Progressive Enterprises - (which owns Foodtown, Woolworths and Countdown) and Foodstuffs - (which owns New World, PacknSave and Four Square), to adopt sustainable seafood procurement policies and remove orange roughy and other red listed species from their shelves. So far we have seen little movement.
New Zealand supermarkets must take responsibility for protecting the future of our oceans. Too often consumers are left without answers when trying to find out if seafood products on their supermarket shelves have come from sustainable sources. Inadequate labeling and a lack of publicly available sourcing policies have made it impossible for consumers to buy seafood with confidence about whether it is sustainable.
The recently released Greenpeace NZ report 'While Stock Lasts' exposes a disturbing picture of New Zealand's commercial fisheries and the seafood retail sector. It shows how our oceans are in crisis and supermarkets, as major buyers and sellers of seafood, have a key role and responsibility in being part of the solution. By adopting sustainable seafood procurement policies supermarkets have an important role to play in protecting the future of our fisheries and marine life, the seafood industry, and the country's clean green reputation.
Supermarkets in Europe and North America such as Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Ahold have already taken New Zealand caught orange roughy off their shelves because it is caught in an unsustainable and destructive fishery.
New Zealand's seafood industry needs to clean up its act to protect our clean, green reputation.