Our subvertising campaign on Monday targeting Sealord and its unsustainable tuna was hard to miss and it certainly didn’t escape the attention of the Sealord management or their lawyers.
Yesterday afternoon we received a very grumpy letter from Sealord’s lawyers Russell McVeagh questioning our facts and telling us to stop our campaign - or else.
But - we stand behind all of the statements we have made regarding Sealord’s tuna sourcing and we won’t be put off that easily.
We believe that New Zealanders have the right to know the ecological impact of the food they purchase, in order to make informed choices at the checkout. The feedback on Sealord’s own Facebook page and the many thousands of emails sent to Sealord show how keen kiwis are for Sealord to mend its ways.
Our message is very clear and we’ll continue to shout it from the rooftops until Sealord does the right thing.
Nice logo – Bad* tuna.
Bad because it is caught using purse seine nets and fish aggregating devices (FADs). This deadly combination leads to a high bycatch including sharks, juvenile tuna, other fish species and even the occasional sea turtle.
There are better ways to fish. Purse seining without FADs results in a much cleaner catch of tuna, and can also reduce levels of bycatch of non-tuna species by up to 90 per cent. Pole and line fishing is an alternative fishing method that can provide more sustainable tuna catches and better financial returns for island countries.
The trend here in NZ and around the world is to move away from the destructive combination of purse seines around FADs. In response to our campaign here in NZ, Foodstuffs announced in June that it would change most of its Pams range of canned tuna to FAD-free by the end of the 2011 and will introduce a pole and line range as well.
And all of the major tuna brands in the UK – including John West, Princes and the supermarkets Asda, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Waitrose and Tesco have responded to public concern by committing to stop sourcing tuna from unsustainable sources.
The value of Sealord's logo and brand is defined by the quality of the product behind the label. While Sealord continues to ignore best practice and choose tuna that is caught with a needlessly high bycatch, it is their own policy that is denigrating their brand, not the fact that Greenpeace is drawing attention to it.
You can back us up by sending your own message to Sealord here and post a virtual poster to Sealord's facebook page here.
Here's an archive of the live feed from Monday