John West: the worst on tinned tuna

Posted by jossc — 13 August 2008 at 11:10am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: John Novis/Greenpeace

Tinned tuna is big business - there's a can in almost everyone's cupboard. Here in the UK we can't get enough of it - we're the second biggest consumer in the world after the USA. Globally tuna exports are worth more than any other fish species, at around 2.7 billion dollars per year.

But there are big problems with the way tuna is caught. Our new briefing paper, Tinned Tuna's Hidden Catch, explains how large numbers of sea turtles, sharks and other fish are all being wiped out by the global tuna industry. And tuna is in trouble itself, with some species critically endangered by overfishing.

Here in the UK some of our top selling brands, like John West and Princes, are among the worst at ensuring the fish they sell are caught using sustainable methods. We've produced a league table ranking the large tuna retailers according to various sustainablility criteria, and John West, the nation's biggest tuna brand, is languishing right at the bottom. Until things change, John West are officially John Worst.

You can see the complete results for our tinned tuna survey here. Please use this league table as a guide to choosing the tinned tuna that you buy, and steer clear of the brands that are sourcing tuna irresponsibly. You can also help us to press for change in the UK tinned tuna trade, by emailing the CEO of the company which finished at the bottom of our league table, John West.

The animation below shows how destructive fishing methods using Fish Aggregating Devices and purse seine nets affect both the tuna and the species that live around them.

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