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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Today I return to another Greenpeace campaign. You’ll find my recent blog on their report on the low number of pyromaniacs being brought before the courts for causing serious summer fires in Spain elsewhere on this page.

Last week the Greenpeace vessel ‘Artic Sunrise’ sailed in to Cádiz and the environmental organisation used the occasion to launch its latest campaign ‘Una receta para el desastre’.

The ecologists aim to discourage shops from selling fish which are in danger of extinction or whose stocks are almost depleted. At the same time it is urging the public not to buy these products.

This is a Greenpeace national campaign and is backed by a report showing that not one of the major supermarket groups in the country shows the slightest conscience when it comes to buying fish. The report also points out that many shops fail to label fish products correctly, by naming the type of fish and specifying its area of origin.

Greenpeace accuses the supermarkets of being “accomplices in the destruction of sea life” and not doing enough to demand sustainable commercial development.

The environmentalists have drawn up a league table of supermarket groups and topping the chart with the most favourable score is Lidl. Greenpeace believes this is because the German company operates in a number of other countries that have higher levels of sensibilities on this issue. Close behind Lidl was Carrefour, which is French owned.

Both these foreign owned chains score 29 and 21 per cent on the Greenpeace grading system. Scoring poorly are the major Spanish chains El Corte Inglés and Eroski (3 per cent), Alcampo (2) with Mercadona in last place on one per cent.

I have shopped in Lidl but there was never a fresh fish counter. I often go to Carrefour but my habitual supermarket is Mercadona, and yes, I do buy a lot of fish. I am wise enough to not buy undersized fish but I know other shoppers will and many will seek them out. I have to admit I wouldn’t know an endangered species if I saw it gazing at me on the slab. Hence it falls to supermarkets to be responsible suppliers of fish and sadly for many of these operations the pursuit of profit comes a long way ahead of caring for the environment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have shopped at Lidl too and never seen a fish counter. I also use Mercadona - a good supermarket - but having read your blog I now wish they would source fish that are legal and support practices that do not harm the evironment.