Because I work for Greenpeace, my friends often ask me questions about climate change, recycling, overfishing, and the myriad other problems facing our planet. I’m always happy to answer anything I can, because I firmly believe that a part of the problem is solved the moment we start regular conversations about these issues and how we can face them. If I don’t know the answers, it’s always chance to start learning something new about how we can change the world.
Ever since I was on board the Esperanza during the 2013 Indian Ocean tour in April, I’ve been gathering information about tuna and the crisis these ocean creatures are facing. On the ship, we documented some of the illegal and unsustainable fishing that is happening away from government and public scrutiny. We exposed evidence of illegal fishing vessels in these waters and submitted the evidence to the authorities, including the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission.
We also found evidence of tuna trans-shipments at sea, where caught tuna is moved from fishing vessels into larger container ships – a practice notorious for allowing illegally-caught fish into the supply chain. This makes chain of custody – from sea to plate – incredibly hard to pin down.
Because of this, and because we South African consumers love our tuna, we have decided to work with tuna companies and leading retailers to bring you Greenpeace Africa’s first ever canned tuna guide. The guide will give you a break down on where each participating brand stands in terms of sustainability and in protecting tuna stocks so that they can be responsibly fished for a long time to come.
A few weeks ago we launched our tuna teaser page, to give you some starter info while we develop the complete guide. Here, you’ll find out what the problem is, the fishing methods used to catch tuna, and what to do if you want to help keep tuna around for a while longer.
Hundreds of concerned consumers have already signed up to receive the guide so that they can start to choose the brands that make more sense for sustainability. You can join them – get the guide as soon as it’s out.
Yesterday you may not have known about the problems facing the tuna industry, today you know a little more – let’s keep this conversation going!