Greenpeace targets Korean tuna giant

Greenpeace this week staged a non-violent protest outside Dongwon Industries' South Korea headquarters, accusing StarKist’s parent company of unsustainable fishing practices.

The protest included Greenpeace members holding a fishing net, images of a fish bone and a slogan that read, “Dongwon Korea’s No. 1 Ocean Plunderer.” Representatives also handed company officials a giant tuna can with messages from hundreds of consumers urging the company to change its destructive fishing practices and commit to sustainable fishing.

According to Greenpeace, Donghwon continues to sell yellowfin tuna in its product line despite scientific warnings that the species is threatened by overfishing. Dongwon also uses fish aggregation devices (FADs) with its purse seine fleets resulting in a large amount of bycatch.??

“Dongwon is the biggest tuna company in South Korea in terms of fishing capacity and dominates the canned tuna market in the country with more than 50 percent market share. However, their business methods and policies are not sustainable,” said Yuen Ping Chow, Greenpeace East Asia senior oceans campaigner. “We are here to show the public that the company’s fishing prowess is done on the back of overfishing and indiscriminate bycatch, which contributes to tuna species depletion.”

??Greenpeace is calling on Dongwon to commit to stopping the use of FADs in its purse seine fishing, stop selling Pacific yellowfin and bigeye products, and support the set-up of marine protected reserve in the Pacific ocean, a region that provides a large portion of its tuna supply.??

Last week, Greenpeace released its canned tuna ranking in South Korea that put Dongwon in last place due to its destructive fishing practices and its refusal to commit to sustainable fishing.

??“People are now concerned about the environment. Consumers want to buy products from sustainable sources. As the number one tuna brand in Korea, Dongwon should listen to its customers, then take the lead in sustainability, both nationally and internationally,” said Chow.

??Greenpeace is asking tuna brands globally to implement policies that support the conservation of tuna species and reduction of destructive fishing.

In March, Dongwon announced its application to join the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation. ISSF participating companies work to advocate for improved fishing methods, fund scientific advancement and take direct action to spur change.


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