Different standards for cat food?

Having valiantly tried to shop for fish in the green zone of the Good Fish Guide and treating myself to chicken only if it is free range (almost all of the time), I have found myself in a quandary when it comes to food for the mog.

My precious mog prefers fishy offerings – vaguely called ‘ocean fish’ by Chef, with the main ingredients listed as meat by-products, the first listed being chicken.  I have just realised that, despite feeding my cat this food for six years, I have never looked at the ingredients.  For special occasions, I treat her to a tiny tin or two of expensive cat food.  This is where it gets silly. 

The posh nosh for spoiled moggies includes chicken, tuna and snapper. 

1.  If I try only to buy free range chicken, why doesn’t this choice extend to catfood? 

2.  If I avoid tuna, or try only to buy skipjack tuna, up at the top of the Good Fish Guide, why would I buy unspecified tuna for my cat?

3.  If I avoid the worst choices from the bottom of the Good Fish Guide, such as snapper, why on earth would I buy it for my cat?

Discerning shoppers want to make the same wise choices across their shopping – whether food, shampoo, detergent or cat food.

My plea to cat food manufacturers – please give us a choice.  Let us feed our cats ethical, sustainable cat food.

Plenty more fish in the sea … or is there?

Selfridges, (top London department store) in association with the Zoological Society of London and 20 other conservation and environment groups, is leading “Project Ocean“. 

http://www.selfridges.com/en/StaticPage/ProjectOcean/#/Home/About

They are ensuring that their store and restaurants do not sell any endangered fish, they are raising money for the creation of new marine reserves, and they are promoting a fish guide.  Overall, they aim to raise awareness of the threats to our oceans and thereby enable people to make positive decisions about the right fish to buy and eat.

Who in New Zealand will pick this up and run with it?  Logan Brown made a great start.  Forest & Bird are raising awareness and getting their Good Fish Guide out there, and the Greens and Greenpeace are doing their bit, but we need a nationwide chain or household name to pick up the theme and stand by it. 

Pam’s have made a commitment to improve the choice of tuna they sell and its labelling.  Perhaps Pam’s and then Foodstuffs could lead this much needed campaign for NZ.

http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/pams-sell-only-line-caught-tuna/1861/91681

Seamounts and orange roughy

The introduction to the SIT level 4 marine ecology course relates to the formation of New Zealand’s coastline, its geology, geomorphology and processes.  One of the striking features of the submarine landscape is the seamount.  These are usually volcanic in origin and do not reach the ocean surface, but they can rise to 3 or 4 km from the ocean floor.  The Kermadec Ridge and Colville Ridge to the north of NZ’s North Island comprise many seamounts, the former being younger and still volcanically active, the latter being older and extinct. 

All seamounts are prize marine ecosystems because of their elevation, ocean currents around them, and, in the case of the Kermadec seamounts, the hydrothermal activity.  This means that they are target for the fishing industry and one species in particular is fast losing habitat due to the fishing methods used to harvest it. 

Orange Roughy are bottom dwellers.  Bottom trawling is used to catch them.  It is estimated that some 95% of the ecosystem is destroyed by this method that scrapes along the bottom, particularly on seamounts. 

This method has been described as bulldozing an orchard to harvest a few apples.

Take action by not purchasing orange roughy.  Make your vote count at the supermarket and fishmonger. 

http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/publications/-best-fish-guide-/orange-roughy

http://www.terranature.org/orangeRoughyCatch2007.htm

http://www.terranature.org/bottomTrawling_SouthPacificRFMO.htm