John West: from greenwash to black out

Press release - 22 October, 2012
Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, Sydney: Australia’s biggest tuna brand, John West, blocked its Facebook page from the international community last night after it was bombarded with concerns about its destructive fishing practices.

“Anyone outside Australia or New Zealand is being blocked from seeing the John West Australia page,” said Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle.

“John West’s green veneer is washing off and they’ve replaced it with a blackout,” he said.

"John West doesn’t even get their fish from Australia; its tuna comes from the world’s largest tuna fishery in the Pacific. Yet Pacific Islanders aren’t even allowed to express their opinions to John West. The way John West fishes is a global problem, not just Australia’s,” said Pacific-based Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner, Duncan Williams.

“It is an insult that John West think Pacific Islanders like myself shouldn’t have a say in how they fish when they are plundering our fishery,” said Williams.

John West uses destructive ‘fish aggregating devices' (FADs). Fishing with FADs and giant nets results in 10% ‘bycatch’ in every haul, including sharks, baby tuna, rays and turtles. This rate is ten times higher than nets set without FADs and Greenpeace is demanding that John West commit to FAD-free fishing in line with other major Australian brands Greenseas, Safcol and Sirena.

John West responded to outrage over their fishing methods yesterday with a statement saying the company would research ways to make FADs sustainable.

“John West’s response to customer’s demands is absurd. Apparently, the company will keep fishing with destructive FADs until some as yet unidentified solution appears.  That’s like a tobacco company encouraging smoking because they’re working on a cure for cancer,” said Pelle.

Last year in the Western Central Pacific Ocean FAD use was at a record high. 

“Vague commitments to non-existent future technologies are no excuse for inaction when the problem of FADs is getting worse today,” said Pelle.

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

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Greenpeace Media Advisor: Elsa Evers, 0438 204 041,

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