Organiser admits that anti-fishing campaign is based on lies, but doesn’t care

One of the organisers of the campaign, Barbara Maas, to put pressure on the fishing industry and McDonald’s has admitted in a Facebook post in reply to my challenges that the campaign is based on a lie, but she doesn’t care and it is all about exerting financial pressure on the industry in whatever way they can.

Worse she threatens to escalate their campaign.

It seems that the point of the consumer campaign, which focusses on hoki and McDonalds has been sorely misunderstood although we explained the this rationale to the CEO of the NZ Seafood Industry Council at some length when we met him in Wellington last month. We are well aware that hoki is a pelagic fish whose range does not overlap with Maui’s dolphins.

The point of the campaign is not to target the relatively small and primarily domestic market of the inshore fishery where Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins live, but to exert financial pressure the NZ seafood industry, which has denied there is a problem even exist. Every relevant scientific body (International Whaling Commission, IUCN, 200 scientists strong Society for Marine Mammalogy, has been urging the NZ government to remove gillnets and trawling along the 100 m depth contour (approx. 20nm) year after year.

This is the biggest red flag scientist are able to wave, yet NZ has not only ignored their advice entirely but as we now know, has suppressed Maui’s and Hector’s dolphin deaths from coming to light. 3-4 Maui’s dolphins die in fishing nets each year (MPI and DOC data). There are now less than 50 Maui’s dolphins left. Unless something happens now, they will disappear within a matter of years.

Just to be clear: we have done everything possible to avoid a boycott and have talked to the industry and the government about this sine 2012. When we met the Seafood NZ CEO Tim Pankhurst last month, we reached out to him to give us a reason not to have to take this step. His response was along the lines of ‘Do your worst!”

For the sake of NZ’s fishery, its fish and its dolphins I urge every decent and honest fisherman out there to ensure this is resolved before things escalate further.  

So, Barbara Maas has admitted her campaign is base on a lie, but they don’t care and if the two parties targeted, the NZ Seafood industry and McDonald’s don’t play ball then it is going to get worse.

This is nothing short of economic sabotage based on a whopper of a lie.

She admits that the hoki fishery doesn’t even overlap the range of Maui dolphins. She doesn’t care and its all about getting results using blackmail and extortion.

She further states when challenged for admitting her campaign is based on a lie:

It’s a strategy, not dishonesty. You may not like it or agree with it but we have made no bones about why we have taken this course of action. Nowhere have we stated that hoki fishermen target Maui’s. Perhaps you could focus some of your bile on those who are actually telling untruths about fish and marine mammal bycatch. I wonder why you don’t?

She justifies her actions by saying at least they warned everyone. She also continues the lie by denying that they have stated hoki fishermen are responsible.

I wonder how she can even do that when William Trubridge stated for the media hit piece:

“What decent human being or company could possibly buy fish from an industry that fights for the right to kill every last Maui’s dolphin?

“I have faith that most who hear this story will refuse New Zealand fish until it is no longer mixed with the blood of the last few individuals of a beautiful species.

“Only then will New Zealand’s fishing industry and the Government realise that its brand and its economy depend on the dolphins’ survival, and therefore on their protection.

This was in the Herald article where he was targeting and imploring McDonalds to stop buying fish because they have blood on their hands for killing Maui dolphins which they haven’t.

This is nothing short of economic sabotage, blackmail and extortion against an industry and their customers. Worse, the campaign is based on, lies and those lies have been promulgated by a compliant and complicit Media party.

Now we know and have confirmation that the campaign is based on a lie I wouldn’t be at all surprised that Barbara Maas and her little band of liars don’t end up in a court being sued for all they have got.


– Facebook, NZ Herald



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  • WBC

    Maybe instead of trying to kill one of the best regulated fisheries in the world they could just do something positive.

    Oh wait, in their minds that would probably mean walking all over the Inca lines or something.

  • Keeping Stock

    Ms Maas would be wise to ponder the same advice that has been given to Andrew Little; never get into a legal battle with someone whose pockets are deeper than yours.

    McDonald’s has very deep pockets, and the New Zealand Seafood Industry can probably call on some pretty generous support as well. Ms Maas should think VERY carefully before she escalates this campaign.

    • shykiwibloke

      No. I hope she doesn’t and is sued for everything. It is time these idiots learnt their outrageous antics have consequences, that wreaking others lively hoods comes at a personal price.

    • Ross15

      I’m no lawyer KS but there has to have been several laws broken here.
      It is not just McDonald’s who have deep pockets –don’t for get Maori interesting own a major share of fishing quota and as we know they love legal fights.
      We haven’t seen much response from the industry yet but I can guarantee they are getting “all their ducks in a row” for a major scrap.

  • Jerseyman

    These people can’t count either. There were only 50 Maui dolphins left 3 or 4 years ago and with an attrition rate of 3-4 per year that leaves the population looking a little depleted. To make matters worse the species has forgotten how to breed. Now that brings to mind an idea worth considering. Employ some of those solo mums and their partners to train the dolphins in effective breeding habits.

  • Quinton Hogg

    The woman is based in England and the group she fronts is German based.
    While a defamation/economic tort claim would be fun, the reality is that her physical separation from New Zealand is such that the costs of the claim would outweigh the benefit.
    And in any event I think the average punter is tired of the continual hysteria of people like her and is tuning this sort of stuff out and is going meh!

    • Aucky

      I’m getting fed up with the ever-increasing barrage of American, Canadian, Brit & European accents whining on about our perceived conservation issues. Why don’t they just go home and sort out their own pollution problems.

      • Quinton Hogg

        I have to say it, i am too.
        What irritates me the most is that a seppo has become an MP. and is telling us what to do.

        • To hell with democracy eh? People who don’t share your world view shouldn’t be allowed in parliament?

          • Quinton Hogg

            Of course….

          • Possum

            List MPs should be allowed nowhere near parliament!

          • STAG

            There’s nothing democratic about the Greens, win a seat and you can sit at the grown ups table, until then back to the children’s table with plastic cutlery.

        • pisces8284

          Ahh I have learnt something today. Septic Tank/Yank. Rhyming slang. Should have known that being a Londoner

  • Mighty1

    What is it with these people with Dutch sounding names? I think that along with Hans she should get her hands off my food.

  • Herb

    Who are these people? When you get a chance it would be great to see a little sunlight shining on these hysterical blackmailers.

  • Mighty1

    Wow and the MSM still publish her rubbish as if she is local. Meh.

  • localnews

    well McDonalds customers may buy a few more big Macs and a few less fish burgers for a few months, but their profit wont change and in a few weeks it will be back to normal.
    If they are really concerned, they probably have a few hundred people in their marketing department who know their reach is a lot more than Barbaras.
    Couple of ads of nice Maori fishermen working hard to feed their families by catching Hoki for McDonalds should do it

  • oldmanNZ

    why MacDonalds? I assume most greenies just hate MacDonalds regardless, as they not a big consumer of the hoki.

    the only ones affected would be the campaigners, as now even a truthful one, will be seen as just rubbish.
    And the NZH, well we know they print a lot of rubbish anyway. So the NZH is not interested fact now, just attention grabbing lies from lefty, greenies.

    And I will get two fillet fish tonight for dinner.

  • Whitey

    This has nothing to do with Maui dolphins at all. Dolphins are just an excuse to target industries these eco-terrorists don’t like.

  • Ruahine

    Her and this organisation really only have news traction and publicity because the NZ news media are willing to print and repeat her lies.

  • Karma

    “It’s a strategy, not dishonesty” sounds like something a person with a foreign trust would say, and get crucified by lefty liberal hand-wringers for doing so.

    • Left Right Out

      I’m not sure how it’s not dishonest….. they are deliberately linking and industry and a brand to the death of a species that is not affected by the catch…… if the strategy is blatant misinformation then yep

  • 1080 Napalm

    I watched this play out on Facebook. When someone can only answer with “you just don’t get it” you know their argument has been holed below the waterline.

  • One_step_beyond

    If “3 or 4” killed in nets per year will drive them to extinction, then like printed media and programmed television, their fate is already sealed.

  • Backdoor

    It is actions like this that result in me wanting to go out there and kill off the remaining Maui’s dolphins. This is not an exercise that will support for their cause.

  • Dog Breath

    What stops McDonald’s or the fishing industry from suing these organisations or people.

    • Bartman

      Nothing but the reality that to sue gives them oxygen – so to ignore them means they suffocate like so many flopping fish. A tasty meal but one best avoided.

  • Nico SV

    Your misunderstanding of the whole point and your lack of reading comprehension has lead you to write this embarrasing yourself. I hope those who stumble upon your blog are capable of thinking and don’t chew blindly on your vile intentions to bring down a campaign that is not based on lies but on years of science, that states clearly a request for help from honest fishermen in the quest to save these poor dolphins and states clearly that it doesn’t target hoki fishermen but the industry which is exploiting the ocean and taking a species to extinction. Do something better with your time please instead, go to McDonalds or your local fish n’ chips and while you wonder and try to guess how that fish truly got on your plate maybe, just maybe, you’ll realize that these dolphins are worth more than TPP dollars, oh, sorry, I forgot you’re kind of ignorant, well, study a bit, there is a field called Science I recommend you begin with, or maybe Ethics would do you some good. Goodbye and thank you.