NFI stands up to Greenpeace


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 28, 2011

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) on Monday defended the U.S. canned tuna industry by circulating an e-mail alert to its industry members to set the record straight.

This comes less about two weeks after Greenpeace posted on the Internet two videos attacking the United States’ “Big 3” canned tuna brands — StarKist, Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea — part of a worldwide initiative to rid the use of  fish aggregating devices (FADs) to catch tuna.

Referring to its tactics as “bullying,” NFI said Greenpeace has ignored ongoing tuna sustainability work by responsible environmental organizations and disregarded the latest science.

In its alert, NFI listed three bullet points to illustrate that Greenpeace is exaggerating or falsifying the truth. For one, abandoning FADs is not a sustainability cure-all, according to NFI. “Greenpeace wants the major U.S. tuna brands to abandon modern fishing techniques like the use of FADs, while promoting use of poles and lines — a technique that, worldwide, brings in only about 2 percent of the 200 million cases of tuna eaten annually. No single fishing method is capable of meeting the world’s demand for tuna, so processors use a combination. FAD-free fishing, and to a much lesser extent pole-and-line fishing, are already part of the overall solution but relying solely on these fishing methods to supply the global market would increase fuel usage and associated carbon footprint, have potential negative impact on bait fishery stocks, limit supply, and ultimately apply price pressure to the most economically sensitive consumers who rely on these products.”

NFI called Greenpeace a “USD 700,000 a day fundraising machine” that has no interest working with the tuna community to develop more sustainable fishing techniques.

The industry group also pointed to the TunaForTomorrow website, launched recently to counter Greenpeace’s accusation and set the record straight.

Also on Monday, Greenpeace staged another demonstration against canned tuna, this time targeting New Zealand’s Sealord and its new logo and corporate identity.

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