Coles’ fishy environmentalist claims

On page 8 of their Winter Magazine 2011, Coles makes the rather patronising claim that they are “encouraging their customers to try different types of seafood in an effort to address the issue of dwindling stocks in our oceans.”

Well, who takes any notice of the Duopoly when it comes to this stuff, anyway? We all know it’s only branding. It’s stating the bleeding obvious that neither Coles nor Woolworths give a shit about anything other than their bottom line. Environmentalism is the new black, innit? And therefore, highly marketable. But really, if you’re gonna come out with the sort of preachy-toned claims Coles have made above, better be sure you don’t betray yourself as the bullshitters we all know you are. Check out the following ad in their current sales brochure (Thursday 23rd June to Wednesday 29th June 2011):

Blue Grenadier is another name for hoki, a New Zealand fish that is – you guessed it – endangered. It’s one of the fish listed on Greenpeace’s Red List. Further, Forest & Bird (NZ) ranks ‘Hoki’ E (RED – AVOID) in their Best Fish Guide. Why? Apart from stocks of hoki being seriously depleted through overfishing, according to the Guide the bottom trawling that is used to catch them has multiple damaging ecological effects, as quoted:
…seafloor damage and alteration, high non-target fish bycatch, protected and threatened species bycatch, and practices such as the dumping of offal and other fish waste during processing at sea.

I have not managed to turn up any definitive statement on the status of hoki fishing on the WWF site, but this statement of theirs suggests strongly that they would not support bottom trawling for hoki:
We are pushing for the elimination of environmentally destructive fishing gear and the modification of existing gear to reduce by-catch. Fishing practices can result in the by-catch of sea birds, turtles, whales and dolphins, threatened fish species and even sea floor-dwelling species, as well as damaging or destroying corals.

So, what of that agreement Coles claims to have signed with the WWF “not to stock any new seafood without taking advice on its sustainability”? From what authority is Coles taking that advice? Maybe the same one as that great bastion of environmentalism, McDonalds, which uses hoki in their Filet-o-Fish burger. Select company you’re keeping there, Coles.

Down with corporate bullshitters who posture as anything more than the money whores they are.

What can we little folk do about these big bullshitting bastards? Well, don’t buy hoki, for a start. And keep an eye out for instances of hypocrisy and false claims like this one of Coles – and alert as many people as possible by blogging about it, or telling your friends. And protest by emailing or writing to the offending business. It might make no practical difference, but at least you’ll know that they know that you’re not sucked in by their crap.

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