Friday, 11 February 2011

Greenpeace: Fish Matters

Following on from my blog entry in October last year regarding Prince's Tuna, I sent off for Greenpeace's 'Fish Matters: helping you make the better choice' which I'm going to address now. Within the introductory letter there was also a small booklet and an advertisement leaflet. The main information is in the booklet.

The world's oceans are being destroyed by overfishing because fish are wanted for food and the oceans limits are being exceeded. Since 1950 tuna, cod and swordfish numbers have fallen by around 90%. Sea beds are destroyed by the current fishing practices, and because of this seabirds, turtles, sharks and dolphins are being caught alongside the targeted fish.

Supermarkets, like-minded companies and the Governement need to act responsibly to change their policies to protect the environment. The fishing industry will be forced to change their fishing methods so as to minimise the bycatch.

Scientific evidence suggest large networks of marine reserves are needed to protect the ocean life. The Governments are under pressure from companies who are forcing this pressure upon them, which personally I think is needed because our oceans need to be protected.

Marine reserves are off limits from fishing, meaning fish stocks can regrow in size, and numbers. Vulnerable species will be protected, species such as: sharks, tuna and swordfish. This will give the marine species the chance to survive the changes in climate change.

Regarding buying fish, and where to buy it from is difficult but for supermarkets this is clear, Sainsburys, Waitrose, The Co-Operative and Marks and Spencers. These supermarkets have the most progressive sourcing policies. Supermarkets sell 90% of the fish sold in the UK, so the change in policies could transform the fishing industry.
Below are 2 quotes from 2 supermarkets.

'The scale of moving all of our tinned tuna to 100% pole and line caught was a massive investment, but we are convinced it was the most sustainable alternative. We did not pass the cost of doing this on to our customers as they expect us to do the right thing' - Ally Dingwall, Sainsburys.

'M&S supports the establishment of large scale no-take marine reserves and believes that the retail sector has a crucial role to play in supporting the initiative' - Richard Luney M&S.

Wherever you by your fish from be sure to ask these questions:
  1. 'Where do the fish come from?'
  2. 'Are the population in decline?'

  3. 'How was it caught?'
  4. 'Why is that sustainable?'

  5. 'Can you recommend the most sustainable fish option for me?'

This booklet states the following: 'If your supplier doesn't know where the fish comes from - or can't answer the questions, the chances are that it doesn't come from a sustainable source'.

Greenpeace's red list of fish to avoid are highlighted, these species have a very high risk of coming from unsustainable sources. This list can be found at:

Joint best: Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencers, 2nd: Waitrose. 3rd: The Co-Operative, 4th: Tesco, 5th: ASDA, 6th: Morrisons, 7th: John West, WORST: PRINCES

Greenpeace also states the following: ' Sustainability is not just about fresh fish. If you're buying tinned tuna, make sure it's pole and line caught'

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