Success: Woolworths changes its tuna! Will Aldi be next?

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Feature Story - 12 February, 2013
We’ve had another huge breakthrough in our campaign to end destructive fishing. Australia's biggest retailer – Woolworths - has finally cast its vote for sustainable tuna fishing.

That means over 90 per cent of the Australian canned tuna market has committed to responsible fishing!

By the end of this year, all of Woolworths 'Select' tuna will be caught one-by-one with a pole and line, and by 2015 the rest of its 'Home Brand’ tuna will be caught without using harmful and unsustainable Fish Attracting Devices (FADs) - floating fish magnets that make it easier to catch tuna, but which also draw in and scoop up turtles, dolphins, sharks – pretty much the entire cast of Finding Nemo.

Apart from Aldi, every major supermarket and retailer in Australia has committed to responsible fishing. Soon, destructive fleets won't be catching tuna for Australians any more.

We’re turning the tide

Woolworths’ monumental change of heart means Australia is in exclusive company. Only the UK tuna market can boast anything like this level of commitment. And while markets like the US and European Union are bigger by volume, Australia’s is the biggest in our region and sits right on the doorstep of the Pacific tuna fishing industry.

The model that puts fast profits before sustainability and the wishes of consumers has no future. Pacific Island countries are driving change on the water, demanding that distant water fishing powers use their resources responsibly. By opting for sustainable fishing, Australian brands and consumers are supporting them in this struggle.

Coles and IGA also joined John West in canning destructive fishing. Now Aldi is the only brand selling tuna to Australians that hasn’t yet made the switch. It must be getting lonely on the shelves for them!

Why we’re against FAD fishing

Globally, the tuna industry is anything but responsible. From the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, greedy fleets are wilfully killing millions of individual marine animals every year though the ruthless use of FADs.

It's not only an environmental crime, it’s illogical. Along with a colourful collection of sea life, FADs haul in a massive amount of baby tuna – juveniles that haven't had a chance to breed. This rapidly drives down tuna populations and makes it even less sustainable.

The benefits to Australian consumers are also clear. Where it was once hard to find, soon responsibly fished canned tuna will be the norm on Aussie supermarket shelves.

What’s next?

This campaign has shown that change is not only possible, but inevitable. The massive purchasing power of Australians – together with our collective voices – mean it’s only a matter of time until all canned tuna sold in Australia is caught using responsible fishing methods. That’s good news for fish stocks, marine creatures and the people of the Pacific who rely on tuna for food and income.

When Australians bite into their tuna sandwiches, they will soon be able to do so without the worry that they might have contributed to the death of precious marine life like turtles and endangered sharks. Why? Because not only does it make little sense to run an unsustainable fishing business, but Aussie consumers demanded it.

Let's bring the last Aussie brand on board: click here and tell Aldi to change its tuna!