For the past few weeks, community activists across New Zealand have been spreading the word about a business that’s been trashing the oceans for years. 

Have you spotted one of these info cards in your local supermarket?

Credit: Jessica Thompson-Carr aka Maori Mermaid

While Talley’s might not be a household name just yet, we think this Kiwi-owned company deserves to be infamous, due to its growing list of crimes against the environment. 

From bottom trawling the oceans to polluting NZ rivers, Talley’s has been up to no good, and now it’s time for us to expose them. So community activists did just that.

From Northland to Southland, activists have been covering Talley’s products – that include everything from frozen veggies to ice cream – in info cards that call them out for their enviro trashing ways.

What’s our beef with Talley’s?

As one of New Zealand’s most prolific bottom trawl fishing companies, Talley’s profits from destroying fragile ocean habitats like seamounts, areas that are home to a huge array of marine life.

When bottom trawling nets are dragged over seamounts to catch fish, everything else that happens to be in the way gets dragged up too. This includes corals that create a home for young fish and crustaceans, which in turn would have provided food for animals further up the food chain. 

Whales have been known to use seamounts as navigational markers, to feed around and for breeding purposes. What will happen to these ocean giants if they arrive at a seamount they’ve always used, to find it empty, decimated by bottom trawlers?

And when these seamounts are damaged or destroyed, there’s evidence to suggest they don’t recover for decades. In the middle of an ecological crisis, we simply can’t afford destructive fishing methods like these to continue.

A huge 80% of New Zealand’s native biodiversity is found in the sea. But we also have the highest proportion of threatened native species in the world. 

It’s not a great accolade, is it?

Meanwhile, we’ve got Talley’s continuing to lobby for less protection from bottom trawling in the South Pacific, and have this year been before the courts for two alleged incidents of bottom trawling in marine protected areas. 

In November 2020, Talley’s was found guilty of one of these illegal trawling incidents. The court ruled they were guilty of trawling in a protected area off Kaikoura. That’s despite dogged attempts from Talley’s to scapegoat the skipper, claiming he was responsible for fishing in the restricted area and not the company.

New Zealanders from around the country have had enough. They want to see the oceans better protected from bottom trawling, for the sake of all the life that finds a home there.

How you can help

Sign the petition. We want to see bottom trawling banned on seamounts, to protect these vital habitats from destruction and allow the oceans a chance to recover. 

You can also Tell on Talley’s by sharing this blog on social media. 

Designed by artist Jessica Thompson-Carr (aka Maori Mermaid), the artwork portrays a seamount, damaged by bottom trawl fishing.  Read more from Jess here.

Orange Roughy caught on Trawler
Ban Bottom Trawling on Seamounts

At home and far out to sea, our oceans are being plundered for profit by the fishing industry through bottom trawling. But what is bottom trawling and why is it so destructive to ocean habitats?

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