Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Outgoing minister leaves bad quota call in wake

Outgoing minister leaves bad quota call in his wake

A fish species about to be added to the New Zealand quota management system (QMS) has been dropped from sale by three of Canada’s eight major supermarket chains in the past year due to sustainability concerns, says Greenpeace (1).

Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass, will be the 99th species to be managed under New Zealand’s QMS. Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley made the announcement today shortly before he resigned (2).

Greenpeace oceans campaigner Karli Thomas said the move was another example of how New Zealand was out of step with international seafood markets.

“New Zealand is heading in the opposite direction to the rest of the world. This week we have the Ministry of Fisheries adding a fish species to the quota system which overseas retailers have already stopped selling. And this is after it tried to increase the quota for the critically endangered southern bluefin tuna by 25 per cent while other countries have agreed to a 20 per cent cut (3).

Canadian retailers are following an international trend which has seen environmentally conscious retailers refusing to sell unsustainably caught seafood. In the last 12 months four supermarket chains have also stopped selling orange roughy and one has removed hoki from sale. Both orange roughy and hoki are caught by destructive bottom trawling.

Internationally, supermarkets are introducing sustainable seafood policies which mean they will not sell seafood that comes from overfished stocks or is caught by destructive fishing methods.

Last year newspapers around the country ran headlines like “No hoki for Queen” (4) following confirmation by Waitrose, the UK supermarket chain used by the royal family, that it no longer stocked New Zealand caught hoki as it failed to meet the store’s sustainability policy.

The New York Times also ran an article critical of New Zealand’s continued bottom trawling for hoki. It took a major online campaign by the New Zealand seafood industry to divert attention from the story.

“While we continue to fish using destructive fishing methods and pretend the quota system takes care of everything, our industry and officials will increasingly find themselves in damage control mode internationally,” said Thomas.

Loblaw, Canada’s largest retail chain, is the latest to remove orange roughy and Patagonian toothfish from sale as the first step in a drive to sell only sustainable seafood by the end of 2013.

The supermarket is embracing the change, putting out empty seafood trays that once displayed the now delisted fish, with signs pointing out they are species at risk and suggesting eco-friendly alternatives. Quoted in the Toronto edition of The Star Melanie Agopian, senior director of meat and seafood for Loblaw, said the company wanted to be "transparent" as consumers were increasingly demanding to know more about their food and where it came from (5).

Waitrose also reaped rewards for its sustainable seafood policy and reported an increase in both fresh and frozen fish sales (6) and a doubling of its market share for fresh fish. (7).

Currently neither of New Zealand’s two supermarket chains, Foodstuffs or Progressive Enterprises, has introduced such policies.

“New Zealanders are being short changed by our government and our supermarkets when it comes to seafood. Sustainable seafood policies make environmental sense, and they make economic sense, in both the short and the long term,” said Thomas.

(1) The three Canadian retailers that have recently publically announced the removal of toothfish from sale are Loblaw, Canada Safeway and Overwaitea. Of the eight main retailers in Canada, only Sobeys has not addressed removing toothfish. Sobeys, along with Metro, are also the only two that continue to sell endangered bluefin tuna.
(2) http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3370911/Fisheries-worth-4-billion-minister
(3) The proposal by the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries, which seeks to increase the Total Allowable Catch from 420 to 532 Tonnes, is available from the Ministry’s website: http://www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Consultations/review+of+Southern+Bluefin+Tuna+STN+1/default.htm?wbc_purpose=Basic%2525252525252526WBCMODE
(4) http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/2611187/Kiwi-hoki-off-Queens-menu
(5) http://www.thestar.com/unassigned/article/760679--loblaw-guides-consumers-towards-sustainable-seafood
(6) http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1491:waitrose-sees-rise-in-fish-sales-thanks-to-green-policy
(7) http://www.seafoodsource.com/newsarticledetail.aspx?id=4294967531

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels