On Wednesday we revealed Sealord is the only big Australasian brand which has refused to stop sourcing tuna caught by fleets using a destructive fishing method which kills sharks, juvenile tuna and turtles.
New Zealand’s largest tuna brand says it will continue to source its tuna from boats using fish aggregating devices (FADs), which attract tuna and many other species, along with purse seine nets which let nothing escape. This deadly fishing method kills around 200,000 tonnes of other marine life every year.
Sealord, which trades on its image of sustainability, should have led the way in ending this deadly practice. Now, it’s the lonely cheerleader for a destructive fishing method being rejected by all its local competitors and by tuna brands around the world. That method is responsible for a shameful waste of other marine life with up to 10 times more bycatch compared to more sustainable methods like pole and line fishing.
Last week Aldi became the last of the main Australian tuna brands to respond to our campaign and its customers by promising to stop selling FAD-caught tuna. And last month Woolworths Limited, the parent company to New Zealand's Countdown supermarket chain announced it was shifting its own brands away from FAD-caught tuna. It says the move “will significantly reduce the bycatch of sharks, dolphins and juvenile tuna in the supply chain” and aims to change its Select range at Countdown supermarkets to pole and line caught tuna by the end of the year.
The good news is you don’t have to wait until then to buy more sustainably caught tuna. Pams, the own brand for Foodstuffs-owned supermarkets, has changed most of its range to FAD-free and pole and line caught tuna. Ceres, a much smaller player, introduced the Fish 4 Ever range of pole and line caught tuna more than a year ago.
The other big brands sold in New Zealand are John West and Greenseas, Both are Australian-based and have recently made similar commitments to stop selling FAD-caught tuna on both sides of the Tasman.
Unlike Sealord, these companies are clearly committed to sustainable fishing methods which are essential to protecting our oceans for the next generations.
Sealord has also come under fire for its continued use of yellowfin tuna for canning. Yellowfin tuna is in trouble in the Pacific and is now extremely scarce in New Zealand waters.
Tell Sealord to walk the talk and look after the world’s tuna stocks. You’ll find the link to Sealord’s Facebook page here.
Read how the gloal tuna industry is increasingly divided.