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Global Media – Local Action

— by Chris Watson

Orange Roughy Hoplostethus atlanticus. A fascinating deep sea species that may live for over 150 years but has had its stocks severely depleted by over-fishing. This is a museum specimen. Picture by Peter Halasz, wikicommons.

Who would have thought that a deep sea fish living around sea mounts in the frigid Southern Ocean off Tasmania might owe a small part of its continued survival to a few knowledgeable, concerned, and connected folks in our desert town? A great example of local community consciousness-raising using global media has just come to a very satisfying conclusion.

Local marine biologist Matt Le Feuvre and Red Centre wildlife polymath Mark Carter, simultaneously posted their dismay on Facebook, at Alice Springs bar/lounge Monte’s having the endangered Orange Roughy on their menu. To learn more about Orange Roughy have a look at the Australian Marine Conservation Society page here. The short version of the story is; if you see Orange Roughy for sale anywhere please don’t buy it.

After less than 24 hours of  (polite) messages of disapproval in support of the original posts, the proprietors of Monte’s Lounge promptly committed to removing the fish from the menu. Matt has offered his expertise to help them find a more sustainable replacement for the Orange Roughy so that fish and chips can still be a popular order at the bar for many years to come.

Congratulations to all concerned for bringing this to such a positive and happy conclusion. Well done!