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Retailers pull orange roughy

Retailers pull orange roughy

Greenpeace says the Government must stop fishing orange roughy, after two more major international retailers confirmed they have dropped the fish from sale due to sustainability concerns.

Orange roughy is caught by destructive bottom trawling, and three of the eight stocks in New Zealand waters where the species is caught have been fished to collapse and closed after numbers reached critical levels.

“The rest of the world is saying “no thanks” to our unsustainable seafood, but our Government insists on continuing to exploit it,” said Karli Thomas, Greenpeace New Zealand oceans campaigner.

Last week Trader Joes, a USA chain with over 300 supermarkets, confirmed it had discontinued sales of orange roughy "based on customer feedback and in support of work to source sustainable seafood."(1)

Last month Canada’s largest retail chain, Loblaw, confirmed it had stopped stocking orange roughy and Patagonian toothfish for similar reasons.(2) Since the start of 2009 four Canadian supermarket chains have stopped selling orange roughy and one has removed hoki from sale. Hoki is also caught by destructive bottom trawling.

Last year Waitrose, the UK supermarket chain used by the royal family, announced it no longer stocked New Zealand caught hoki as it failed to meet the store’s sustainability policy prompting headlines reading “No hoki for Queen”.(3)

“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.

Neither of New Zealand supermarket chains, Progressive Enterprises and Foodstuffs, has introduced sustainable seafood policies. Both sell orange roughy.(4)

“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.


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