Safeway Charts New Course for Sustainable Tuna

September 13, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sept. 13th, 2012 - This week Safeway stores in California began stocking a budget-friendly sustainable tuna that provides an alternative to environmentally destructive mainstream options such as Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea.

Soon, the company’s “Responsibly Caught” Safeway Select chunk light tuna will be available across the country, providing an environmentally responsible alternative for Safeway consumers and offering a roadmap to sustainability for other retailers.

“Chicken of the Sea, Starkist, and Bumble Bee needlessly slaughter thousands of sharks, rays, juvenile fish, and other animals as casualties of their quest for cheap tuna,” said Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Casson Trenor. “Safeway’s new initiative gives American consumers a tuna option that is not only cheaper, but far more environmentally friendly. This is the direction the entire tuna industry needs to be moving.”

A 12 oz can of the responsibly-caught Safeway Select skipjack tuna is 51 cents cheaper than Bumble Bee tuna, and is sourced solely from tuna vessels that do not use Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).  Environmentalists and conservationists deplore the use of FADs for their high incidence of bycatch, including juvenile tuna, sharks, sea turtles, and rays. Hundreds of thousands of these creatures are killed every year due to FAD-associated fishing.

This new version of Safeway Select skipjack marks the first time a major grocer has offered a FAD-free option at a price comparable to the leading tuna brands, a move that proves consumers and retailers both have a real choice over the practices of companies like Chicken of the Sea.

Earlier this year, Safeway took the top position in Greenpeace’s Carting Away the Oceans (CATO) report -- the environmental group’s annual ranking of twenty of the largest seafood retailers in the US -- partially due to the company’s work on sustainable canned tuna. In the first CATO report in 2008, all twenty major food retailers received a failing score. This year, sixteen of the twenty achieved passing marks, with Safeway receiving the top score (7.1 out of 10) and a green rating.

“This kind of progress is just what we need if we are to have any chance of protecting our imperiled oceans,” said Trenor. “There’s still a long way to go, but things sure look a little brighter today than they did last week.”

For more information on Greenpeace’s work on seafood sustainability or to set up an interview with Casson Trenor, please contact:

Travis Nichols 206.802.8498

Full the full Carting Away the Oceans Report:

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