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Archive for September 12th, 2009

Hoki Cover-up by British McMedia

Posted by feww on September 12, 2009

Why British Corporate Media Kept Mum about NZ Hoki

On July 21, 2009 FEWW wrote Waitrose, a large British supermarket chain, had confirmed that it is refusing to stock New Zealand-caught hoki because bottom trawling is used in New Zealand fisheries.

nz-caught hoki
New Zealand hoki fisheries attain Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label despite destructive bottom-trawling practices. Photo: NIWA NZ.

Moderators also noted that at least “a dozen other supermarket chains in Europe and North America have also removed New Zealand caught orange roughy from their shelves because it goes against their sustainability policies.”

Bottom trawling is a destructive fishing method that kills deep sea life like corals and sponges and destroys fragile ecosystems. Deep sea coral cultures provide habitat for unique marine wildlife. The corals protect many species from currents and predators, providing feeding, breeding and spawning areas for numerous marine species, as well as nurseries for fledgling fish populations.

The Silence

Interestingly, the British media kept silent about the decision by Waitrose and other supermarkets not to stock NZ-caught hoki. In fact, the Moderators were not at all surprised, following the Daily Mail debacle about life in New Zealand. In How the Brits are Deceived by their Media, our friends in New Zealand aptly busted the “green,” “clean,” and other myths and revealed the blatant lies about New Zealand being a “paradise for British expats,” lies that had been perpetuated by unscrupulous corporate media such as the UK’s “perfidious” Daily Mail.

The Surprise!

Blog noted however that NZ govt had expressed a pleasant surprise. A week later on july 28, 2009, New Zealand ‘Trade and Enterprise” said:

The announcement by Waitrose supermarket that it will no longer be stocking New Zealand hoki for environmental reasons has not been widely reported in the mainstream media in the UK.

But lamented:

Waitrose instituted the ban despite the fish carrying the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label.

msc logo
MSC logo. Beware of MSC fake imitations fraudulent claims. Image may be subject to copyright.

Could it be that the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label is not worth the paper it’s glued on?

We suspected something bigger had prevented British media from “blathering” about NZ hoki. Alas, the Moderators were too distracted by other events…

Enter the McHoki Factor

Have you ever wondered about the filling in McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish buns sold at your local McOutlets? What kind of fish it is, where it lives, how it’s caught, how many of them are left…?

Filet-O-Fish wiki
Filet-O-Fish. Image source: Wikipedia. for licensing details click here.

According to NYT:

The answer to the eternal mystery of what makes up a Filet-O-Fish sandwich turns out to involve an ugly creature from the sunless depths of the Pacific, whose bounty, it seems, is not limitless.

The bottom-trawled NZ Hoki, or whiptail, “a bug-eyed specimen found far down in the waters around New Zealand” turns out to be a major export item for the country, NYT’s William Broad says. ” McDonald’s alone at one time used roughly 15 million pounds of it each year.”

Gary Johnson, McDonald’s senior director of global purchasing, said hoki use was down recently to about 11 million pounds annually from roughly 15 million pounds—a drop of about 25 percent. “It could go up if the quota goes up,” he said in an interview. He noted that McDonald’s also used other [bottom-trawled?] whitefish for its Filet-O-Fish sandwiches.

Denny’s, another international fast food chain, was reported as saying that it served hoki only in its New Zealand outlets.

What will McDonald’s do in the future?

Gary Johnson said: “Everything we’ve seen and heard, suggests the fishery is starting to come back.” [REALLY?]

As for the British McMedia, make your own verdict!

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Posted in bottom trawling, fast food industry, Filet-O-Fish, Marine Stewardship Council, McDonald’s, McDonald’s restaurant, McHoki Factor, Waitrose, Waitrose supermarket | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »