More Than 30 Student Groups Tell Aramark: Sustainable Tuna Now!
by Guest Blogger
May 28, 2015
More than 30 high school and college student groups have signed an open letter demanding that food service giant Aramark make a prompt switch to serving sustainable tuna! Read the letter below and share widely.
Eric J. Foss
Aramark Chairman, President, and CEO
Aramark Senior Director of Sustainability
Aramark President of Higher Education
Aramark K-12 Education President
Dear Mr. Foss, Ms. Cacciola, Ms. Hackem, and Mr. Gilliam,
Our oceans are in crisis. Every year, destructive and unsustainable fishing practices are responsible for the unintended deaths of many species. Many of these destructive practices are employed when fishing for America’s second-most consumed seafood—wild caught, canned tuna. Many stocks of the key tuna species found in cans, like yellowfin and albacore, have suffered significant declines, with some now overfished.
Problems associated with unsustainable tuna fisheries include:
- Environmental devastation and waste. The use of fish aggregating devices, or FADs, in combination with large purse seine nets kills tons of other marine life including sharks, rays, marine mammals, sea turtles and juvenile tuna from vulnerable stocks. Another commonly employed fishing method for albacore tuna is the use of conventional longlines. Longline fishing kills seabirds, sharks, marlin, turtles, and other non-target fish.
- Human rights concerns and illegal fishing. Human rights abuses are growing concern throughout the fishing industry. Illegal fishing has plagued the tuna industry and vessels operating out of sight or illegally are breeding grounds for slave labor and poorly treated crew.
- Food security and inequitable fishing. Industrial fishing fleets deprive local small-scale fishers of tuna and damage local economies and livelihoods.
This destruction is senseless and must stop now! There are alternatives. Tuna caught by current best practice fishing methods like pole and line, trolling, and FAD-free purse seining that is fully traceable and socially responsible is increasingly available to consumers.
As students concerned about sustainability in our schools’ dining halls nationwide, we urge Aramark to keep its commitment to transition to sustainably caught seafood by 2018. If Aramark truly intends to meet its goal on time, it needs to switch to providing only sustainably caught tuna immediately.
We look forward to Aramark’s response and updates on plans to shift toward sustainable tuna. Aramark, it’s time to be a star – our oceans and the people who depend on them cannot wait!
Green Team, California State University Monterey Bay – CA
Students for a Sustainable Future, Cosumnes River College – CA
LMU ECO Students, Loyola Marymount University – CA
California Student Sustainability Coalition, University of California Berkeley – CA
ECO, University of California, Berkeley – CA
Gators Going Green, University of Florida – FL
Environmental Club, New Trier High School – IL
Bowdoin Climate Action, Bowdoin College – ME
MSU Greenpeace, Michigan State University – MI
St. Olaf Greenpeace, St. Olaf College – MN
UMN Marine Biology Club, University of Minnesota – MN
Peace and Justice League, University of New Hampshire at Durham – NH
KARE Club, Belvidere High School – NJ
Enviro-Earth, Sarah Lawrence College – NY
Environmental Action Group, Bowling Green State University – OH
TOMS Campus Club, Bowling Green State University – OH
Environmental Club, Scappoose High School – OR
H.E.A.T, Texas A&M University – TX
Rice Student Association, Rice University – TX
Concerned Students, Southern Methodist University – TX
Environmental Club – Texas Christian University – TX
Chancellor’s Leadership Program – Texas Christian University – TX
Alpha Chi Omega – Texas Christian University – TX
Neeley Fellows – Texas Christian University – TX
GAGE – University of Texas, Austin – TX
EcoReps, Old Dominion University – VA
Virginia Student Environmental Coalition, College of William and Mary – VA
Environmental Coalition, Virginia Tech – VA
JMU Earth Club, James Madison University – VA
Environmental Coalition, Virginia Commonwealth University – VA
Stop it Aramark, Central Washington University – WA
Photo (c) the University of Minnesota Marine Biology Club.