Greenpeace pushes pole-and-line skipjack


Steven Hedlund

Published on
April 27, 2009

Greenpeace International on Monday launched an online petition allowing retailers and restaurateurs worldwide to pre-order skipjack tuna from only sustainable sources.

Sari Tolvanen, ocean campaigner for Greenpeace International, made the announcement during the European Tuna Conference at the Sheraton Brussels Hotel, which SeafoodSource attended.

The program is designed to promote skipjack caught using environmentally friendly practices, such as pole and line fishing. Greenpeace is trying to sway buyers away from purse seine-caught skipjack, which the organization said is unsustainable. The bulk of skipjack is canned.

"Pole and line fishing has the potential to be a selective and most environmentally sound method of fishing skipjack," said Tolvanen in a press release. "If conducted properly, it can have very low bycatch levels and also ensure a much higher quality of fish, as every fish caught is brought on board alive."

Greenpeace is encouraging retailers, restaurants, wholesalers and processors interested in seeking partners to develop pole-and-line fishing operations to provide their contact information at

"Demonstrating the market demand of better products will be key to encouraging and empowering tuna-rich nations to develop sustainable and equitable pole and line skipjack industry and limit the access of foreign industrial fleets to their waters," said Tolvanen. "With skipjack accounting for over half of the world's tuna catches, retailers should support sustainable and equitable options through a transition towards local pole and line tuna fisheries."

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