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Stop eating fish for Plastic-Free July - NZ Vegetarian Society

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The NZ Vegetarian Society is urging Kiwis to stop eating fish for Plastic-Free July. Discarded fishing gear accounts for a very high percentage of the ocean’s plastic pollution. Fishing is also responsible for the death of wildlife and destruction of natural habitats.

A report released last year by Greenpeace revealed that lost and abandoned fishing gear makes up the majority of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. This is particularly harmful for creatures who eat or get tangled in it.

NZ Vegetarian Society spokesperson Philip McKibbin says that when we choose to eat fish, we are complicit in environmental destruction:

"Eating fish is bad for you, it’s awful for the fish, and it’s harmful to the planet. If you’re eating fish, you’re helping to fund an unsustainable industry and contributing to the amount of plastic that finds its way into our oceans. If you want to see a world without plastic pollution, one of the best things you can do is stop eating fish."

The fishing industry has a devastating impact on wildlife. Last month it was reported that a single New Zealand fishing boat killed four endangered albatrosses - even though it was operating within the law.

Mr McKibbin says there are also compelling health reasons for avoiding fish.

"Fish is typically high in mercury and other toxins, so it’s better for you not to eat it. There’s nothing you get from fish that you can’t get from a plant-based diet. Check out our website for recipes, and have a look at the veg options in your local restaurants."

The NZ Vegetarian Society is encouraging people of all ages to think through the ethical implications of eating fish. School students who are interested in learning more are encouraged to focus on this for their Think Kind projects. The Think Kind Student Competition is an annual competition which promotes kindness to animals. Students can find more information here:

If you’re looking for plant-based recipes, visit 

Anyone who is considering giving vegetarianism a go can sign up online for the 21-Day Plant-Based Challenge at:

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