It seems that Sealord thinks we all came down in the last shower and are prepared to believe whatever line they spin in defence of unsustainable canned tuna.
A few weeks ago, Sealord started pushing canned yellowfin tuna with a TV ad claiming it was their best tasting tuna. When questioned by TV3 about why they were promoting a species that has all but disappeared from NZ waters, Sealord limply replied that it was “trying to reduce the amount of yellowfin it sells”. TV fishing show host Matt Watson didn’t buy that line, and neither do we at Greenpeace.
The boss at Sealord really needs to have a word with the PR department about why they are advertising canned yellowfin tuna. Conventional wisdom would suggest that you advertise something in order to sell more – not less.
We don’t think they’re “trying” to reduce sales at all. Sealord buys the tuna they sell to New Zealanders from fleets fishing in the Pacific Ocean. As a tuna buyer, Sealord is not forced to buy anything it doesn’t want to sell. To say they are “trying” to sell less is nonsense.
If Sealord was genuine about reducing the amount of yellowfin tuna they sell they would take the product off the shelf and stop production.
Sealord is now the only major canned tuna brand in Australasia that has not made a commitment to phase out the use of destructively-caught tuna, netted by purse seiners on fish aggregating devices. These ‘FADs’ result in significantly higher bycatch than when purse seiners set on free-swimming tuna schools. That bycatch includes baby yellowfin and bigeye tuna, as well as other ocean life like sharks and even turtles. But, Sealord still chooses to buy tuna from this dirtier fishing method.
We’re not the only ones who think Sealord is taking the mickey. In an article in the latest NZ Fishing news, the fishing group LegaSea wrote; “Sealord thinks we’re dumb! That’s a pretty harsh statement – however, Sealord’s latest TV ad is all about buying canned yellowfin tuna with the tag line “Smart Choice”. Now, that’s dumb! Yellowfin tuna are almost extinct in New Zealand waters.”
Use Sealord’s Facebook page to tell them you’re not buying their story and won’t be buying their tuna until they clean up their act. Perhaps then they will “try” a bit harder to stop selling tuna that is costing us the ocean.