Greenpeace calls on NZ tuna brands to stop destructive fishing

Press release - March 11, 2011
Auckland, 11 March 2011 - Greenpeace is calling on New Zealand brands to follow the lead of overseas canned tuna sellers to stop sourcing fish caught using methods which kill sharks and turtles.

The UK’s largest seller of tinned tuna, Princes, announced yesterday that it will join supermarket chain ASDA in moving away from destructive fishing methods that are responsible for killing other marine life and fuelling the overfishing of vulnerable tuna species.
“This move by Princes and ASDA increases pressure on the rest of the global tuna industry to improve sustainability. Consumers do not want to be complicit in the destruction of oceans simply because of the tuna they buy”,” says Greenpeace New Zealand oceans campaigner Karli Thomas.
“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.”

Thomas says Greenpeace is approaching New Zealand companies who sell the tinned product and asking them 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.”

Destructive fishing practices include setting large purse seine nets around floating objects (known as fish aggregating devices or FADs) that industrial fishing fleets put into the water to attract fish. This technique is responsible for catching far more than the target species including juvenile tuna and endangered sharks and turtles.

Princes and ASDA have stated that they will source only pole and line caught and FAD-free purse seine-caught tuna by 2014. In addition, Princes has agreed to not source any tuna from the Pacific high seas pockets that Greenpeace and Pacific countries are seeking to have closed to fishing. (1)
Supermarkets Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer have already stopped selling tuna caught using these methods, while in January, Tesco promised to follow suit after pressure from Greenpeace and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation, working to create a more sustainable and equitable fishing industry and a global network of marine reserves covering 40 per cent of the world’s oceans - necessary steps to creating healthy, living oceans.

For more info:
Karli Thomas, Greenpeace NZ oceans campaigner, 021 905 582
Phil Crawford, Greenpeace NZ media & communications, 021 22 99 594

Notes to Editor

Industry press release on Princes announcement:
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