Friday, July 1

Forest & Bird is about to update its spurious good fish guide.

The current list is not based on science or sustainability, it disapproves of fast-growing, prolific hoki for instance, a fishery that has been Marine Stewardship Council accredited three times now.

The NGO takes the simplistic approach that trawling and dredging is bad, therefore we should all avoid species like oysters and cheap, plentiful hoki.

And if you do consume them, you should have a guilty conscience and shame on you.

The so-called guide is due to be re-released later this year, according to a story on the Stuff website last week, which ran alongside the usual lists of 5 top diet tips and the like and investigative reporting on which country's women have the biggest breasts.

The glory and the madness of the Internet was instantly on display, where everyone has an opinion and no one is accountable. 

 And judging by the huge amount of comments received, the twig and tweeters’ self-appointed, non-accountable finger waggers are not being taken too seriously when it comes to fish.

Big Ben asked: What’s this got to do with forest and bird? Shouldn’t they be telling us whether we should be eating wood pigeon or tui?

Others got sidetracked on the best way to prepare fish – battered versus crumbed.

Kelliher wished for “grilled Cajun fish like Australians shops do”.

Ahh Sole, I love mine battered, said Reece.

Is there anything the social justice warriors won’t ruin for everyone?, wondered umm-ok.

So you think it’s OK to eat all the fish until there is none left instead of being informed so you can choose ones so that future generations still have food to eat”?, fretted Penguin1234.

Wow the ignorance on here is astounding, said 33 and a 1/3. “I suggest googling the word sustainability before spouting the usual greeny and tree huggers rubbish.”

Just buy what tastes good and is affordable, was bigsky-wn’s advice.

Yumyumyumy I love fish and chips in my tummy, said Iknownothing.

Have you tried that Thai Basa fish?, alsplace asked. “It’s horrible, it’s a type of catfish, probably the only one with zero flavour.”

“Where is a takeaway that still cooks in animal fat? I think the last one closed just after serving the piece of fried moa.”

“Greymouth is one place I know of,” advised Beau. “Both chippies we go to use dripping. It’s better for you than polyunsaturated vege oil. Google it oil vs fat?”

“Fish and chips, well, I guess if you only have it once a week, you won’t deplete the stock and you won’t get fat will you?,” kgm31 offered.

Alsplace was also concerned about the other half of the equation. “I don’t want to upset the fish huggers out there, and who minds paying $20 for a piece of fish and a scoop, when are they going to tell us what potatoes are sustainable?”

“Yet no one cares about the potato,” TheFist added.

Cadae was unconvinced about the fish claims.  “This article and F&B have lots of claims about unsustainability – but not one shred of evidence. If you want people to change their buying habits, provide some evidence. I’ll continue to purchase snapper until there’s clear proof that it is a problem.”

What the hell is wrong with sole?, asked LindsayGough. “It is a shortlived fish and is not endangered. I like mine crumbed.”

“I think they are more worried about how they’re caught rather than the fish itself,” WinstonSmith said. “Perhaps the nets cause damage while dragging along the bottom of the ocean. I prefer mine battered.”

The PC brigade are at it again, said NZbloke.

Bird & Forrest (sic) are an ego organisation with an agenda, said JohnZ.Smith. “Just like PETA, just like Greenpeace, just like Destiny Church – and many others.”

“Why is Forest and Bird poking their oar into this anyway?,” asked AMM286. “Fish are not birds, nor do they live in the forest.”

What about all the jobs in the ordinary fishing fleets?,wondered meb1. “You didn’t think about them, did you?”

Knowmorethanyou saw it as more of the media trying to put a negative spin on the seafood industry. “The same industry that provides thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of business to our export trade. Trust me we wouldn’t still be doing it if it wasn’t sustainable, look at the likes of Indonesia, Thailand for example, all fish farms and no fishing boats because there’s no fish left in their part of the world. I work in the seafood industry and our quota management system is world class, and those so called ‘no go’ species are all sustainably sourced fish. Go and get a real story.”

Captain Glenn said “the NZ quota management system is a bureaucratic nightmare but is actually very effective managing the fish stocks”.

So where does all that leave Forest & Bird and its fishy pronouncements?

Maybe it would be better advised to direct a little more attention to endangered birds.

The kea and the kiwi were not doing so well last time we looked.