Greenpeace: Saving tuna fisheries that don’t need saving?


I have been keeping up with the very public war between Greenpeace and Tuna of Tomorrow.

I mean look at this….

And this…

What are they warring over?

Favourable Public Perception is my answer…  

For a few years now Greenpeace have been actively campaigning against Tuna fishing globally, and recently have stepped up campaigns in the Pacific Ocean, with one recent one (which is one of the subjects of this Blog Post – called “Defending our Pacific“), and for  a number of years Tuna for Tomorrow have been actively against Greenpeace’s campaign against Tuna fishing on.

On the Tuna for Tomorrow website, this war with Greenpeace is characterised:

Tuna for Tomorrow is a campaign to combat misinformation about sustainable stocks of tuna fished by the America’s leading canned tuna brands. Radical environmental activists have for years distorted the true status of tuna stocks worldwide claiming overfishing of species that are not overfished in order to further their own goals.

According to a consensus of scientists, stocks of [tuna] are plentiful and being fished sustainably to ensure that future generations of families enjoy canned tuna too.

Unfortunately, despite all the scientifically driven data to the contrary, radical activists, like Greenpeace, are campaigning to save tuna that don’t need saving. Apparently motivated by their own budgeted obligations — which include a $32 million yacht and operating expenses running nearly $700,000 per day — we believe that Greenpeace has fabricated a crisis for fundraising purposes.

Among their tactics is a campaign to eliminate purse seine (or net) fishing that uses Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs); Greenpeace is compelling grocers to sell canned tuna from FAD-free sources or from pole and line fisheries. The presumed threat is a mobilized boycott and protest against retailers who don’t comply. Pole and line fishing, though fun for weekend anglers, is woefully inefficient when it comes to meeting the nutritional needs of a nation. Last year, Americans purchase 50 million cases of canned tuna. Pole and line could only supply 4 million cases worldwide.

If Greenpeace has its way, not only would canned tuna disappear from grocers’ shelves, the paltry supply that gets to market would cost a lot more. Aside from its great taste and all of its nutritional benefits, canned tuna is also affordable (at least for now). If supply shrinks and demand stays the same, millions of consumers will be denied — be it by choice or by cost.”

In addition to Tuna for Tomorrow’s media centred public relations campaign. Greenpeace have been running one of their own… Greenpeace’s anti-tuna campaign is arguable far more sophisticated, and far more successful…

Greenpeace’s Kangnam Style approach of a younger commited dynamic, attract a younger committed dynamic… something I imagine Tuna for Tomorrow will never be able to do.

I mean this video is current… and totally entertaining

Greenpeace, through their public relations machinery, have been able to publically portray their fighting of “the good fight.” One such example of Greenpeace’s ‘good fight’ were the recent 2012 Ocean Expeditions:

Yes I know…

These “expeditions” (9-week expedition through the Indian Ocean’s fishing grounds completed by the Rainbow Warrior; and a 3-week expedition in Pacific Commons Area 1 and the EEZ of Palau undertaken by the Esperanza) were seen as ‘fishing operations’ fact finding and IUU fishery spotting missions as far as Greenpeace were concerned… Yet from the Summary of Findings documents on the Greenpeace website… I deduce that they were little more than footage finding and fishing interruption expeditions…

Both expeditions assert that they documented fishing operations; you be the judge… Here are summaries of their findings [just click on the pictures for a copy of the PDF].

Greenpeace. Defending our pacific summary

Greenpeace. Indian Ocean

The mainstream media has swallowed the ‘good fight’ rhetoric hook, line and sinker.  They fully responsive to the Greenpeace PR machine… To the extent that public perceptions are shaped that much more with programmes produced by the eNGO or its partners being guaranteed the requisite airtime… to cement understanding of an issue from their point of view… This may not seem much… but public airtime is gold.

TVNZ aired Karli Thomas and The Raiders of The Last Tuna on 04 Dec 12 on TV ONE. As you can see it is still available on demand.

This video before features Karli Thomas (Greenpeace Ocean Campaigner), talking about her embarkation on her Defending the Pacific 2011 expedition.

Below is the summary of findings document – produced by Karli’s expedition….

Greenpeace. Defending our pacific

The findings include slaps on the hands for Taiwanese long liners and the use of FADs by purse seiners. Simply put there is nothing new in any of these documents. But that is their appeal; their brand strategy… A brand strategy of constant messaging, delivered with a media savvy that is the envy of any public relations organisation…

However the question remains are their messages true and accurate? Well that is the question. The answer according to Tuna for Tomorrow… NO! 

What is my view?… Well I think Greenpeace don’t allow themselves to be too troubled by truth and accuracy.



5 thoughts on “Greenpeace: Saving tuna fisheries that don’t need saving?

  1. Pingback: Greenpeace: “Saving the planet” with video mastery | Green Fish Blue Fish

  2. Pingback: Save the Sea? Is it getting ridiculous? | Green Fish Blue Fish

  3. Pingback: Greenpeace: their veracity called into question… once again | Green Fish Blue Fish

  4. Pingback: Greenpeace: Greenpeace releases their Seafood Retailer Sustainability Scorecard – Texan based health food retailer Whole Foods is on top… with Safeways and | Green Fish Blue Fish

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