Greenpeace Sad Fish Mascot on New Zealand Tour

Press release - October 22, 2009
Greenpeace’s oceans mascot, Sad Fish, will visit New Plymouth next week as part of a nine week nationwide tour to safeguard the future of New Zealand fisheries. New Plymouth is the sixth stop on the tour of 19 centres.

Greenpeace oceans campaign volunteer Roshahn Smith with the Sad Fish mascot on a nine-week nationwide tour to safeguard the future of New Zealand fisheries.

While in New Plymouth, Sad Fish and two Greenpeace volunteers will attend public events and visit the town's supermarket to talk with shoppers and staff. They will be distributing information on what people can do to ensure the survival of New Zealand fisheries including bi-lingual versions of the Greenpeace Red Fish Guide which lists 12 seafood species people should avoid buying (1).

Greenpeace is asking supermarkets to stop selling these species, unless sustainably caught and to implement truly sustainable seafood policies.

Currently some New Zealand fisheries are being overfished using unsustainable methods like bottom trawling which destroy the marine environment. Three of the eight orange roughy fisheries have been fished to collapse and closed.

One of Sad Fish's travelling companions, Roshahn Smith said the tour was delivering a serious message in a fun way.

"Sad Fish has instant appeal. He's very friendly and approachable and by the end of the tour will be recognised around the country. He even has a Facebook page (2) so people can follow his progress.

"New Zealanders love to fish and we want to keep it that way. Our mascot is sad because parts of our oceans are being destroyed and some fish stocks are being depleted but there are things we can be doing right now to stop this."

In May this year, Greenpeace released the report While Stocks Last - Supermarkets and the Future of Seafood (3) outlining the link between seafood retailers, consumers and the fishing industry.

"The more people who demand truly sustainable seafood from their retailers, the more incentive and pressure there will be on industrial fisheries to provide sustainably caught fish.

"The Red Fish Guide gives examples of the sustainability questions people can ask their seafood retailers. If they can't be answered satisfactorily they should vote with their feet and buy their seafood from a retailer who can."

The Sad Fish team will be at a public stall in Powderham Street on Wednesday, October 28, from 1pm. They will also host a meeting for supporters and members of the public on Tuesday evening at Salt restaurant at 6pm. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of fully protected marine reserves, covering 40 per cent of our oceans. They are essential to ensure clean and healthy oceans and protect marine life from overfishing and habitat destruction. Healthy oceans can also play a vital role in building resilience against the devastating effects of climate change.

Other contacts: Chris Harris, Greenpeace New Zealand campaign director, 021 971 234 Phil Crawford Greenpeace New Zealand media and communications, 021 2299 594 Roshahn Smith, Greenpeace New Zealand oceans volunteer, 021 238 9217

VVPR info: Photos of Roshahn Smith and Sad Fish available for publication from; http://www.greenpeace.gen.nz/media/main.php/v/press/sad-fish-tour/

Notes: (1) www.greenpeace.org.nz/sos (2) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sad-Fish/133087533156?ref=mf (3) http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/press/reports/while-stocks-last

Exp. contact date: 2009-12-05 00:00:00