European retail chain removes Pacific ‘stolen fish’ from supermarkets – Greenpeace reaction

Press release - October 5, 2007
Tins of tuna sold by companies involved in pirate fishing have been withdrawn from sale by Austrian food discounter Norma, following revelations by Greenpeace of illegal fishing practices. The move came a week after Greenpeace Central & Eastern Europe discovered suspicious tuna cans from canned tuna producer Albacora in Norma shops in Salzburg Austria.

With this delisting, Norma is the first supermarket in Europe to react to Greenpeace's warning not to buy tuna from four Spanish and Ecuadorian companies that have been involved in pirate fishing in the West and Central Pacific Ocean. The companies named are Nirsa, Albacora, Conservas Garavilla SA and Calvopesca.

"We applaud the move by Norma to remove tins of suspect tuna from the shelves of their Austrian and German outlets. Norma has become the first European supermarket to take a stand against pirate fishing in the Pacific," said Greenpeace oceans campaigner Antje Helms. "If retailers and purchasers buy tuna from these companies, they cannot be sure the product is legal. Ceasing to do business with these firms is the only way for retailers and the public to avoid being unwittingly caught up in the trade and marketing of stolen goods," said Helms. "These fish are stolen from the plates of people in the Pacific."

Norma is a European food discounter with headquarters in Germany and 1,300 shops in Germany, Austria, France and Czech Republic. After Greenpeace in Austria started its sustainable seafood campaign in 2006, Norma quickly cleared its shelves of "Red Listed"[1] species and switched their procurement policies to guarantee traceability for their fresh and frozen fish products. In November 2006, they led the league table of Austrian supermarkets ranked according to the sustainability of their seafood.

"The world's tuna stocks are in a dire state due to rampant legal and illegal overfishing. Two key species from the Pacific, the bigeye and yellowfin, are now also seriously depleted. Retailers like Norma have the power to stop illegal fishing by simply refusing to sell stolen tuna," said Greenpeace International Oceans Campaigner Sari Tolvanen. "Retailers have to demand full traceability of their seafood products, and then act, as Norma has done, to ensure their customers are not complicit in driving tuna toward extinction," she added.

Greenpeace is campaigning for a halving of all tuna fishing in the Pacific in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries, a ban on all transshipments (offload of catch) at sea, and a global network of no-take marine reserves protecting 40 per cent of the world's oceans.

VVPR info: Antje Helms, Greenpeace Austria, in Vienna +43 664 2148952Sari Tolvanen, Greenpeace International, in Sydney +31 65 512 5480

Notes: [1] Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe's Red list of threatened fish species is available at http://marktcheck.greenpeace.at/fischfuehrer

Exp. contact date: 2007-10-12 00:00:00