Shark week has wrapped up but the shark love continues. Lots of amazing shark facts and shark tales were shared over the last number of days, and people worldwide are becoming more aware about our misunderstood finned friends and seem keen to support their protection. Greenpeace Canada is going to keep the spirit of shark week alive in the coming weeks by taking our shark mascots to beaches in B.C. and Toronto to talk about sustainable tuna – an important subject for all shark lovers.
During shark week, Greenpeace Canada took the opportunity to highlight the unfortunate relationship between sharks and destructive tuna fishing methods. Sharks are commonly caught as bycatch in tuna fisheries that employ fishing methods that are indiscriminate; meaning it’s easy for more than just tuna to get caught. Longliners and purse seiners setting on fish aggregating devices (FADs) are methods of concern, and unfortunately most tuna is caught by these methods.
The bad news is that is that much of the tuna found on supermarket shelves in Canada is not shark-friendly. The good news is that there are more sustainable tuna fishing methods and the selection of shark-friendlier products is growing with most of the major supermarket chains now providing a more sustainable canned tuna option on their shelves. You can learn more about which brands are better options by checking out our sustainability ranking of 14 well-known canned tuna brands sold in Canada, here.
Last summer we did a Sustainable Tuna Tour around Quebec and the Maritimes to raise awareness about the issues with tuna fisheries, the brands that weren’t doing their part to be ocean-friendly, and how to make better purchasing decisions. The tour was a big hit, and so we’re expanding it to the Vancouver area and Toronto. If you’re hitting a beach over the next week, keep an eye out for our sharks and come say hi. You can also follow us on our interactive map and get updates at facebook.com/ChangeCloverLeaf
Clover Leaf was the focus of last year’s Tuna Tour. As Canada’s biggest brand, its negative impact is the greatest but, if it greens its tuna sourcing, the most consumers would be positively affected. There’s been a lot of movement in the Canadian market since the 2012 tour, and because of Clover Leaf’s lack of progress since last year it has resulted in the company dropping to the bottom of the ranks. Clover Leaf is joined in the lower ranks by Unico and Great Value; two brand that also failed to make any progress since the 2012 ranking. As more and more brands and supermarket chains take steps to green their tuna sourcing, these three companies will be left behind. Join us this month to encourage them to change their tuna! You can take action by signing our letter to Clover Leaf employees, here.
See you on the beach!