Sometimes the world seems upside down, especially when you see that self-censorship is used as a shield to resist the truth. That’s what happened this week, when Australia’s biggest tuna brand, John West, blocked its Facebook page from the international community after it was bombarded with concerns about its destructive fishing practices. This means that anyone outside Australia or New Zealand cannot access the John West Australia page....something to hide, much?
Like Clover Leaf, Greenpeace Canada's target brand of choice, John West uses destructive ‘fish aggregating devices' (FADs). It's well known that 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 leads to the needless waste of marine life. Greenpeace is demanding that John West commit to FAD-free fishing in line with other major Australian brands Greenseas, Safcol and Sirena that are sold in Australia.
John West responded to outrage over their fishing methods yesterday with a statement saying the company would research ways to make FADs sustainable. Basically this means that the company will keep fishing on FADs until some unidientified solution appears at some point in the future. Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle noted in Greenpeace's statement the absurdity of this approach, likening it to a tobacco company encouraing smoking because they are working on a cure for cancer.
Also like Clover Leaf, John West gets its tuna from the world’s largest tuna fishery in the Pacific. Last year in the Western Central Pacific Ocean FAD use was at a record high.Greenpeace is campaigning globally to ban the destructive use of FAD fishing and will continue to urge brands like John West to change their destructive tuna sourcing ways.
To learn more about the campaign targeting John West Australia, click here.
To see how Canadian brands stack up on sustainability, check out our 2012 tuna ranking.