John West: Australia’s worst tuna brand

Press release - 17 October, 2012
Monday, 22 October, 2012, Sydney: Greenpeace has today launched a major new campaign exposing Australia’s biggest tuna brand, John West, for unnecessarily killing a whole host of marine life, including sharks, rays, baby tuna and endangered sea turtles for its canned products.

 “Australians love tuna, but would be horrified if they knew the real cost of John West,” said Greenpeace Ocean Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle. “10% of John West’s tuna catch is made up of other marine life. These sea creatures are killed because the company continues to use outdated and destructive fishing methods.”

250 million cans are sold in Australia every year and decisions taken by the big brands have a major impact on our oceans. As the biggest seller, John West has the biggest impact.

Greenpeace is demanding John West commit to stop using ‘fish aggregating devices' (FADs). Fishing with FADs and giant nets is indiscriminate - at least 10% of each haul is 'bycatch,' such as baby tuna, sharks and turtles. This rate is ten times higher than nets set without FADs.

Bycatch from John West would be enough to fill 10 million tuna cans every year

 “Australian brand Safcol has already switched to sustainable methods. Other major brands, Greenseas and Sirena, are following suit, but John West has refused,” said Pelle. “In the UK, all tuna brands including John West have already committed to make the change. The Australian tuna industry should be embarrassed to be lagging so far behind the UK.”

As part of the national campaign, Greenpeace has launched its new 4th Canned Tuna Guide, which helps consumers make an informed choice about which can to put in their shopping basket.

“Consumers want sustainable seafood,” said Pelle. “Thousands of Australians have written to their favourite brands and the pressure has resulted in major changes in the market. But while there are now more options than ever before, John West is dragging its feet.”

Greenpeace is campaigning globally to ban the destructive use of FAD fishing.

For interviews, images or more information, contact:

Greenpeace Media Advisor: Elsa Evers, 0438 204 041,

Greenpeace Communications Manager: James Lorenz, 0400 376 021,

Footage and Images are available at:

http://www.greenpeacemedia.org

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