Wild irony in fish advert

This advert is on prominent display at Wellington airport. It’s similar to one I noted last year.


The Talley boys’ colourful political views are quite well known, and they are hardly the poster-boys for sustainable wild fishing. For example, this insightful analogy for bottom-trawling – a practice that has caused UK supermarket Waitrose to destock our hoki today:

Fishermen… will be able to put it through the barn doors and pick the three or four biggest cows that he wants. And he will come out of the barn doors. If he likes the look of the farmer’s wife he might take her too. But every now and then, he might knock at the barn door. He might grab the pig and the goat in the corner – but it is far more selective than that analogy.

Ironically, the fish in the Talley’s ad is a yellow fin tuna. Tuna are not farmed in NZ , but they are a wild fishery in trouble and are included on the “red lists” of Greenpeace and Forest and Bird. F&B says:

The main concerns with this fishery are: uncertainty about the state of the stocks, the bycatch of sharks, seabirds and fur seals, and the lack of a stock assessment, catch limits or a management plan. The fishery assessment plenary report states: “On a regional level there are concerns relating to the current status of this stock and the level of fishing effort…. Current catches from the stock are not sustainable under average recruitment conditions.” (Sullivan et al, 2005, p786).

Yet, the Talley’s ad says:


Both captive and wild fisheries will come to realise that their long-term survival hinges completely on truly sustainable management of fish stocks, and much reduced impact on our marine animals. Consumers are demanding nothing less, as evidenced in Waitrose’s decision in the news yesterday.

Consumers even see through attempts to paint sustainability over the exploitative rot, such as our hoki fishery being Marine Stewardship Council certified, despite its use of bottom trawling techniques, despite the fact that 48% of last year’s catch in the largest fishing ground (Chatham Rise) were juveniles, and despite the fact that the fishery kills over 300 fur seals annually, as well as sea lions and dolphins.

I’m all for sustainable fishing, and using certification to market that, but we’re stretching credibility with the constant claims that our wild fisheries are all “responsibly managed for sustainable fishing”.

Metiria’s Marine Animals Protection Law Reform Bill is part of the solution to reducing fishing’s impact on marine mammals and seabirds. It gives the Government a chance to take a key step forward in ensuring the economic sustainability of our fisheries – wild and captive – when it is debated next week. Email your MP requesting their support for it.

20 Comments Posted

  1. Goodness sake, contributors, has anyone got more than a few neurones to rub together? dad4justice would seem to have less than most, but replying to such inanities is a futile waste of time. Would frog kindly put this thread out of its misery?

  2. I remember reading some material from the High North Alliance (a pro-whaling group) a few years ago. Their journal, “The International Harpoon”, emphasised that whale meat was “Free Range”.

  3. Frog

    We’re going to have to have Captcha on this blog.

    …or some more sophisticated way of vetting the new registrants.


  4. frog – is there a list of MP email addresses somewhere? I don’t actually know who my local MP is, but I didn’t vote for them.


  5. Without having read the Bill, at first sight it looks like a good thing and great that the Greens are taking this initiative. But will it stop further “attempts to paint sustainability over the exploitative rot”?

    Who is on the Marine Stewardship Council currently and what was their justification for certifying the hoki fishery as sustainable?

  6. I thought it was Babbling Inanities Day….so sorry.
    d4j what is a ‘koon ute’?
    We are all in trouble imv – however, it only has temporary status around here – got to enjoy life too!
    “Talley Boy’s fish crate”? What is it dear dad?
    Sorry – too many questions – we foreigner’s ain’t all got the infra-dig lingo down yet. You don’t HAVE to explain – but it’s a curious bit of vernacular for me – sorta like an Aussie saying – ‘dry as a pommies towel’ or something – slang-full of meaning – if you gotta the keys.

  7. # Sam Buchanan Says:
    July 22nd, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    > Is it Random Incomprehensible Comments Day at FrogBlog?


  8. Yes, why? Am I in trouble with the Talley Boys’ fish crate on the back of the old koon ute? Must go, jugs boiling Mark.

  9. d4j; Don’t do drugs?
    No caffiene, nicotene, sugar, preservatives, booze etc etc
    Can I come to your church?

  10. even Says:
    July 22nd, 2009 at 8:25 am

    > The Green Party out of all the political parties are the most responsible for driving up demand on fisheries as well as making general obesity and bad health outcomes more prevalent for dis-advantaged New Zealand consumers

    That’s a most intriguing claim Even. Do you have any basis for it?

  11. The Green Party out of all the political parties are the most responsible for driving up demand on fisheries as well as making general obesity and bad health outcomes more prevalent for dis-advantaged New Zealand consumers-i.e. the majority, when the very opposite in both cases could easily have been in the physical economic world – loathed to use the term- ‘sustainably’ achieved outcomes instead.

  12. I politely requested from our local fishmonger Susan for a couple pieces of orange roughy and she slapped me in the face and screamed do you do drugs fuckwit. I said, no I don’t vote green.Then I went next door and purchased a prime cut from Billy the butcher.

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