Today Greenpeace invited the heads of New Zealand's two major
supermarket chains, Progressive Enterprises and Foodstuffs (2) to a
special lunch in Auckland's QEII Square to launch the report
While Stocks Last - Supermarkets and the Future of Seafood
The environmental organisation has identified those species that
are in danger and should not be sold unless supermarket managers
can assure customers that they come from sustainable sources and
were caught using non-destructive methods. The species on the
Greenpeace Redlist include snapper, hoki and orange roughy (4).
Greenpeace New Zealand oceans campaigner Karli Thomas says that,
despite New Zealand's quota management system (QMS), many of the
country's fisheries are in trouble.
"Three of our eight orange roughy stocks have been fished to the
point of collapse and have had to be closed. This species has been
managed under the quota management system since it was established
more than 20 years ago - so that's hardly a record to be proud of,"
she said. "We don't want to get to that point with any more
fisheries, but there's a real risk of that happening if we continue
the way we're going."
Greenpeace says that supermarkets have a key role to play in the
protection of New Zealand's fisheries.
"Research indicates that many New Zealanders want to buy seafood
from fish stocks that are truly sustainable, but that's not easy
when you're in the supermarket and the most basic information is
not available: what species it is, where it is from and how it was
caught," she said. "Some of the seafood on sale only lists that it
is 'fish' - which is like saying a steak is 'mammal'. People need
more information than that."
Greenpeace is calling on New Zealand supermarket managers to
assure their customers that any fish they buy in their stores is
"That means putting in place a sustainability policy, and
removing from sale those species that don't make the grade.
Customers should not have to figure out whether the seafood they
are buying comes from an endangered stock, or was caught with
Thomas says that the menu for today's lunch highlights what will
happen to New Zealand's fisheries if we don't stop fishing
"It's pretty much all jellyfish on the menu, because in a worst
case scenario, that's all that will be left," she said.
Greenpeace is asking New Zealand shoppers to reinforce this
message by asking questions in supermarkets about the
sustainability of the fish on sale, and to avoid buying the species
on the Redlist.
Download full report
Other contacts: Greenpeace New Zealand Oceans Campaigner Karli Thomas 021 905 582
Communications and Media Adelia Hallett on 027 221 7451
Notes: (1) Supermarkets that are no longer selling orange roughy, or have made a commitment to stop selling it, are Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Sainsbury's in Britain, and Whole Foods Market, Ahold and The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company in the United States.
(2) Progressive Enterprises includes Foodtown, Woolworths and Countdown stores. Foodstuffs stores include New World, PAK'nSAVE and Four Square.
(3) The report 'While stocks last - Supermarkets and the future of seafood' is also available online at: http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/press/reports/while-stocks-last
(4) The Greenpeace New Zealand Redlist was launched in August 2008, listing the following species: Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish, arrow squid, flatfish, hake, hoki, orange roughy, oreos (deep sea dory), sharks, shrimps and prawns, snapper, swordfish and tuna. The list is available online at: http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/sos/red-list