Canned tuna's secret catch

Check out the fishing method that is being phased out by New Zealand’s big canned tuna brands.

Video details

New Zealand’s five big tuna brands have committed to phase out a destructive tuna fishing method that kills sharks, turtles and baby tuna. This makes us the third country, behind the UK and Australia, to take steps to change to more sustainably caught tuna. This is good news for the Pacific tuna fishery which supplies most of New Zealand’s canned tuna. However, there is still more we can do to preserve tuna stocks and ensure we have tuna on our shelves, and in our Pacific Ocean, for the long-term:

  • The New Zealand Government must stand with our Pacific neighbours to ban the most destructive fishing methods, end overfishing and create marine reserves;

  • New Zealand’s tuna fishing companies must switch to more sustainable methods.

Until recently the Pacific had the world's last healthy tuna fisheries. These are now being overfished as industrial fishing fleets, which have exhausted tuna stocks in other oceans, are now concentrating their efforts in the Pacific.

All Pacific tuna stocks are in decline. Bigeye and yellowfin are the most at risk. Scientists have advised that fishing needs to be cut by up to 50 per cent to allow bigeye tuna to recover.

Many fishing fleets are using methods which are destructive catching five to 10 times more turtles, sharks and juvenile tuna compared to more sustainable fishing practices.

There are almost 6000 vessels licensed to fish in the Western and Central Pacific region. In 2012 those vessels caught over 2.6 million tonnes of tuna – around 60 per cent of the world’s tuna supply.

Foreign fishing vessels continue to steal tuna from the region, exploiting four pockets of international waters between Pacific islands nations. Illegal fishing is estimated to cost the Pacific region up to NZ$1.7 billion per year.

In 2013 we launched a report providing a blueprint for Pacific Island governments and regional bodies to promote a more sustainable and locally owned and operated tuna fishery in the region.

The report - titled Transforming Tuna Fisheries in Pacific Island Countries: An Alternative Model of Development makes detailed recommendations for how to develop smaller-scale and locally owned fisheries that will maximise economic returns, create local jobs and better protect countries’ precious tuna reserves for the long term.

The latest updates


Pacific Islands Pushing the Envelope on Tuna Conservation

Blog entry by Duncan Williams | December 11, 2010

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Oceans Campaigner, Duncan Williams, reports from Hawaii Right now, Honolulu is host to the annual meeting of the  Western and Central Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)  – the international body responsible...

Supermarkets Want Responsibly-Caught Tuna. Can the Pacific Provide?

Blog entry by Sari Tolvanen | December 10, 2010

Sari "Blondfin" Tolvanen, coordinator of Greenpeace's campaign to defend the Pacific Ocean. Retailers have a major role in protecting the world’s oceans - they sell the majority of the world’s caught fish to the public. One might...

"Dear Bluefin..."

Blog entry by Karli Thomas | December 9, 2010

Normally when you email someone at the Ministry of Fisheries it's an email address like     but for the submissions on the Ministry's latest proposal they've asked us to send them to   ...

Pacific Tuna Hang in the Balance with Greenpeace Pushing on the Scales

Blog entry by Phil Kline | December 8, 2010

Last week, a global team of Greenpeace campaigners arrived in Honolulu to attend the 7th annual meeting of the western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting. The WCPFC is the international treaty body that manages the...

USA: Step Up at Tuna Summit in Honolulu!

Blog entry by Sari Tolvanen | December 8, 2010

Greenpeace activists hang a banner from Honolulu's iconic Aloha Tower the day before the Pacific Tuna Summit began, urging the Tuna Commission to save tuna. For the Pacific region and its people, no fish means no future. I am in...

156 - 160 of 221 results.