Our campaign for sustainable tinned tuna has gained huge public and media support in the UK, acclaimed as ‘one of the most successful environmental campaigns in years’ by The Independent. And now the campaign to protect the Pacific by cleaning up tinned tuna has gone global...
After campaigning by GP New Zealand, Pams’ brand tinned tuna will be making most of their tuna FAD-free by the end of the year, Canada’s largest tinned tuna brand Clover Leaf are under pressure to change, and we have more work in the pipeline for the rest of the year!
Thanks to our supporters all but one of the UK’s tinned tuna brands have ‘changed their tuna’ to switch, or commit, to using sustainable fishing techniques. This leaves just one dinosaur - John West - who still refuse to drop destructive methods, despite over 50,500 emails sent to Managing Director Paul Reenan, asking him to switch to sustainable tuna.
Plus, Walmart-owned Asda, Princes (owned by Mitsubishi), Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Waitrose and Tesco (the world’s third biggest retailer) have not just committed to sustainable practises like pole and line and FAD-free tuna fishing. They’ve all pledged to support the Pacific Commons, protected marine parks in the Pacific Ocean, by not fishing there too.
On World Oceans Day, our New Zealand office welcomed news of big changes, as one of their major supermarkets, Foodstuffs, announced that all standard and flavoured canned tuna sold under its Pams brand will be FAD-free by the end of the year. This does leave Foodstuffs with more work still to do however, and so Greenpeace will be chasing them to ensure that they go 100% FAD-free in the near future.
After huge pressure from NZ supporters and the public, Pams promised to stop using the marine death-traps that are FADs (fish aggregation devices) used with purse seine nets (seen in the image left of tuna and bycatch, caught in the East Pacific Ocean). This combination attracts tuna with floating objects (the FAD), then indiscriminately scoops up everything around these rafts with vast purse seine nets, catching and killing ‘bycatch’ - sharks, juvenile tuna, vulnerable tuna species, other species of fish and even turtles, damaging stocks long term. Eliminating FADs can reduce bycatch by up to 90%.
The changes that Pams are making are positive, but there is more to be done. Despite receiving 11 000 emails from consumers, NZ’s largest tinned tuna brand Sealord still haven’t changed their tuna – just their logo – and source from suppliers that use indiscriminate methods. Our colleagues' campaign continues also pressuring John West (confusingly, no longer owned by the European John West), Greenseas and the nation’s other major supermarket, Progressive Enterprises, to change their tuna.
Our Canadian office has also just joined the mission to protect marine life from destructive tuna fishing methods by asking Cloverleaf to change their tuna. Greenpeace want Canada’s biggest tinned tuna brand to lead the way in the maple nation, by quitting destructive fishing and phasing out FADs, removing yellowfin tuna from its cans, and also signing up to support the Pacific Commons.
So far Canadian activists have been out and about on the streets of Vancouver and Montreal to tell consumers about Clover Leaf’s destructive fishing methods, encouraging supporters to email the CEO asking him to clean up their cans and support sustainable seafood.
In the US, Costco have announced a switch to sustainable tuna across its fresh, frozen and canned goods – as well as eliminating 12 species of endangered fish from their shelves.
It’s been a busy year so far in our global operation to protect tuna stocks and stop destructive practises in our oceans.
We’re making progress that directly affects retailers: on a positive note, Sainsbury’s have reported that last year, says their annual report published Tuesday, after the supermarket topped our tuna league table with their commitment to pole and line sourced tuna throughout their stores and clear commitment to the Pacific Commons,
But there’s still a long way to go before our exploited, overfished and polluted seas are near safe or healthy. And so keep an eye on greenpeace.org.uk/oceans for all the latest on our campaigns and how you can help save our seas.
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