Princes' tuna policy doesn't do what it says on the tin

Posted by Willie — 15 October 2010 at 10:15am - Comments

Two whole years in the making, Princes' new 'sustainable seafood statement' was supposed to address many issues. Specifically it was supposed to be explaining just what the company intended to do to drag itself from the bottom of our tinned tuna league table by explaining the measures they were implementing to ensure they were sourcing their tinned tuna responsibly.

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Despite what it says on the tin, Princes tuna is produced at the expense of many other marine creatures.

Email Princes now

Princes, a subsidiary of the multinational Mitsubishi (which just so happens to be the world's biggest trader in Mediterranean bluefin tuna), has been under pressure from us for many months now to clean up their seafood sourcing. They assured us that that was happening. And we waited. And we waited some more.

We were waiting with baited breath to see just how they were going to address the problem of bycatch - sharks, rays, turtles, and other fish - being caught and killed to bring you your tuna. We were waiting to see just how they were going to justify the blithe statement on their cans that "Princes is fully committed to fishing methods which protect the marine environment and marine life".

Alas, Princes' newly published statement doesn't go anywhere near far enough. Instead of driving forward with real change, Princes are hiding behind their involvement in the ISSF (a global tuna industry body, doing its best to defend the industry), and harking back to the ‘dolphin friendly' labelling as if other species of marine life were insignificant.

Frankly - this simply isn't good enough for a global brand, selling wild-caught animals, from one of the world's largest fisheries. Princes' impact on the oceans is huge, and they have an obligation to minimise the damage done in sourcing their fish.  Specifically the issue of bycatch is one that needs addressed now, not put off indefinitely. Continuing to use fish aggregation devices (‘FADs') quite simply means they are fishing in a way that they KNOW increases the amount of bycatch. And the species involved include endangered turtles, endangered sharks, and juveniles of threatened tuna species too.

All of that makes your cheap tin of tuna rather costly to the oceans.

We don't think that's good enough, so we are demanding that Princes do what they say on the tin, and ‘protect marine life'.

Please help us by emailing Princes to demand they sort out their fishy fish policy.

Oh and needless to say, but don't buy their ocean-wrecking tuna either, at least until they change their ways... there are plenty of better alternatives out there.

About Willie

Hi, I'm Willie, I work with Greenpeace on all things ocean-related

Twitter: @williemackenzie

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