Greenpeace Gets its Sums Wrong

15th March 2013 in Media

We anticipated that having spent a significant amount of money on a media attack on the NFFO which then fell flat, Greenpeace would try to recoup their losses.

This week, true to expectations, a new series of accusations have appeared on the Greenpeace blog, centring again on the assertion that the NFFO is dominated by foreign fishing interests. By cross-referencing MMO statistics with a number of dodgy assumptions, Greenpeace came to the conclusion that the Federation is financially dependent on subscriptions from non-UK interests, leading to the conclusion that NFFO policy is dominated by those same interests.

Finance

Greenpeace made an elementary error. They assumed that bigger vessels pay more and therefore assume a dominant position. In fact although a sliding scale, which starts from as little as £20, does exist (to encourage membership of small scale vessels) we also apply a subscription cap of £500 to larger vessels, many of which operate outside EU waters. This means that in terms of subscription a very different picture emerges from that painted by Greenpeace.

Member PO % subscription contribution to NFFO

Anglo-North Irish FPO 11.88%

Cornish FPO 26.18%

East of England 9.84%

Fleetwood FPO 5.22%

The FPO 5.22%

Lowestoft FPO 5.61%

North Atlantic FPO 1.98%

North Sea Fishermen’s Org 7.60%

When the additional subscription from NFFO member vessels which are not in POs is added in, it is obvious that the Greenpeace assertion of domination of any group, never mind non-UK interests, is nonsense, no matter how good a scare story it sounds.

Policy

But in any event, the way that policy decisions are made within the Federation - through discussion and dialogue within a context of mutual respect – who pays the biggest or smallest subscription is of singular unimportance. Our Executive Committee works hard to develop policy on the basis of consensus and ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard, whether the fish from an under-10metre vessel, a large trawler, are in a producer organisation or not.

Talking of Money

But now that money has been brought up, the two articles on the Oak Foundation and on the Fishermen’s friend campaign, which appeared on the NFFO website in 2012 may well explain why Greenpeace launched this slightly bizarre attack in the first place.