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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.