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Greenpeace activists dressed as sharks in a protest targeted at Princes. (Photo: Kristian Buus/Greenpeace)

Princes to only source sustainable tuna by 2014

  (UNITED KINGDOM, 3/14/2011)

UK tuna giant Prince announced it will begin supplying tuna sourced from non-destructive methods after being ranked poorly by a Greenpeace campaign on tinned tuna sustainability. Now, Greenpeace is pushing for New Zealand companies to follow suit.

Selling more canned tuna than any other UK company, Princes has been joined by retailer chain Asda in the rejection of fishing methods responsible for killing sharks and fuelling the overfishing of vulnerable tuna species. 

Both companies said they will fully source pole and line caught FAD-free purse seine- caught tuna by 2014. FADs attract many vulnerable species, including large numbers of juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tuna, sharks and rays. These animals are then collected by the purse seines. 

Further, Princes has made a commitment to not source any tuna from the Pacific high seas pockets that Greenpeace is urging be turned into marine reserves.

"Today's announcements by Princes and Asda are great news for sharks, tunas and our oceans. Now that the UK's largest tinned tuna seller has joined top supermarkets and dropped destructive fishing, it leaves another major brand John West firmly at the bottom of the rank in terms of sustainability in the UK," said David Ritter, head of Greenpeace UK's oceans campaign.

Princes' new commitment comes after months of pressure from Greenpeace, including more than 80,000 e-mails sent to the company via Greenpeace websites and February’s "shark attack" in Liverpool, during which activists dressed as sharks climbed on top of Princes' offices, hanged banners and gave out information to Princes employees and passersby.

"This move by Princes and Asda will put enormous pressure on the rest of the global tuna industry to start following sustainable practices. Consumers are not interested in being made complicit in the destruction of oceans by their tuna purchase decisions," said Sari Tolvanen Greenpeace International Oceans Campaigner. 

"Companies selling unsustainably caught tuna take note: Greenpeace will continue to push the world's seafood markets, tuna brands and the rest of the tuna industry to adopt standards that will ensure healthy oceans and plentiful tuna for future generations," she added.

Now, according to the Greenpeace sustainability league table, UK brands John West and Morrisons are the least sustainable of the main tuna brands in the country. Both companies continue to use FADs and purse seines to catch the bulk of their tinned tuna. 

Greenpeace New Zealand oceans campaigner Karli Thomas said the group is now pressuring NZ companies who sell the tinned product to source only sustainably caught tuna.

“New Zealand’s supply of tuna from the Pacific is already under threat from overfishing with stocks of yellowfin and bigeye tuna in serious trouble. Stopping destructive fishing methods is the first step towards giving these stocks a chance of recovery,” she stated.

Related articles:

- Greenpeace protests Princes' tuna fishing methods 
- Greenpeace ranks tinned tuna brands with Princes coming last 

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


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