Greenpeace’s anti-tuna campaign won’t quit

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
September 6, 2011

Greenpeace just won’t back down from its battle with the U.S. canned tuna industry.

On Wednesday the organization flew an airship in the hometown of one of U.S. canned tuna brand, Chicken of the Sea in La Jolla, Calif. A banner reading “Tunasecrets.com — What the tuna industry doesn’t want you to know” was displayed on the side of the balloon.

Greenpeace has been campaigning against the tuna industry worldwide for its use fish aggregating devices (FADs) and purse-seine nets, which it claims result in high bycatch rates.

According to Greenpeace, for every 1,000 pounds of skipjack tuna caught using FADs and purse-seine nets, between 50 and 100 pounds of sharks, marlin, rays, mahimahi and other species are killed and thrown overboard. Additionally, about 15 to 20 percent of the tuna in question isn’t actually skipjack, but rather juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tuna — two larger species that are in serious peril, according to Greenpeace. Bigeye is considered to be at serious risk of extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“Greenpeace wants the same thing as the tuna industry: tuna for tomorrow. We want a secure future of our oceans for our children and grandchildren and for those that rely on tuna for their livelihood and food,” said Casson Trenor, Greenpeace campaigner. “In the United Kingdom, the entire tuna industry has made a commitment to move to sustainable methods of fishing. We believe American consumers deserve responsible tuna too. Greenpeace urges U.S. consumers to stand up to this company and to demand sustainable and responsibly caught tuna.”

Numerous companies and industry groups, including the National Fisheries Institute, have lambasted the environmental activist organization since it launched its anti-tuna campaign in the United States last month for attempting to shakedown the tuna industry and failing to initiate a constructive dialog and promote partnerships.

“Rather than working on real sustainability initiatives Greenpeace continues its harassment of U.S. tuna canners. Its efforts consist of childish stunts and obnoxious cartoons, as opposed to real science and meaningful collaboration. Greenpeace marginalizes itself in the conversation about tuna sustainability by choosing to be a side show,” said NFI spokesman Gavin Gibbons in an e-mail to SeafoodSource.

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