Greenpeace targets canned tuna in New Zealand

Back in January, Greenpeace ramped up its campaign urging the United Kingdom’s canned-tuna brands to source only fish harvested in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner.

Now the environmental activist organization is taking its message to New Zealand, targeting the country’s canned-tuna brands, including John West, Sealord, Greenseas and the four private-label brands sold at New Zealand’s two major supermarket chains, Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises.

Greenpeace on Wednesday challenged consumers in New Zealand to press the canned-tuna brands to no longer source tuna caught in a purse seine using fish aggregating devices (FADs).

“Industrial fishing fleets use FADs, which are like floating death traps, to lure tuna. Then they scoop up everything in the area with huge purse seine nets. As well as the intended tuna catch, this method kills up to 10 times more bycatch than more sustainable methods,” said Greenpeace-New Zealand oceans campaigner Karli Thomas.

Greenpeace is also calling on New Zealand’s canned-tuna brands to support a ban on FADs and the closure of four high-seas areas in the Pacific to all fishing.

In interviews with the Dominion Post, both Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises responded to the Greenpeace attack on its canned-tuna brands — Home Brand, Signature Range, Select and Pams.

“We are investigating alternative options and are in discussion with our suppliers to ensure we can source tuna which is not caught in this manner while maintaining a consistent supply for our customers,” said Foodstuffs spokesperson Steve Anderson.

“We’re committed to providing a sustainable choices and we are currently looking to introduce MSC [Marine Stewardship Council] certified canned salmon and tuna products into our Select range later this year. If demand for MSC-certified tuna grows, then naturally our range of products will increase. Ultimately this choice will be made by our customers,” added Progressive Enterprises spokesperson Luke Schepen.

Greenpeace is taking credit for convincing the UK’s major retailers to stop sourcing tuna caught using FADs, claiming that more than 70 percent of the United Kingdom’s major canned-tuna brands have committed to sustainable tuna fishing. Morrisons is the latest to pledge to so; Princes and Asda have also made similar commitments recently.


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