Greenpeace ship arrives in central London – calls out Sainsbury’s for “killing our oceans”

Last edited 19 November 2016 at 11:55am
19 November, 2016

Greenpeace’s largest ship, the ice class Esperanza, has arrived at Tower Bridge in central London calling on the supermarket Sainsbury’s to “stop killing our oceans” and drop the unsustainable tuna brand John West.

See here for images of the Esperanza at Tower Bridge

The Esperanza has recently returned from the Indian Ocean where it was exposing the destructive fishing practices of John West and its owner Thai Union, which harm all kinds of marine life including sharks and even turtles in the pursuit of tuna.

Despite Tesco and Waitrose recently committing to remove John West from their shelves, Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe has so far ignored over 100,000 emails from people demanding he drop John West. For months, the retailer has been inundated with calls to customer services lines as well as campaigning taking place in stores across the UK.

In 2011, John West promised consumers it would go 100% sustainable, but Greenpeace revealed last year that just 2% of their tuna was caught using sustainable methods.

In April and May, the crew aboard the Esperanza tracked and removed so-called “fish aggregating devices”, or FADs, from tuna fishing grounds, which were directly linked to suppliers of John West and its owner.

Footage from Greenpeace’s expedition in the Indian Ocean revealed near-threatened species, including silky sharks, swimming under harmful fishing gear deployed by vessels supplying John West. 100,000 sharks a year are killed using the controversial fishing method of FADs alongside large purse seine nets.

Ariana Densham, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace, said:

‘The crew aboard the Esperanza have seen first-hand the harmful fishing gear used to catch John West’s tuna in the Indian Ocean and they’ve come to London to join the 100,000 people who have already told Sainsbury’s it’s totally unacceptable for them to continue to profit from it.

‘Other retailers like Tesco and Waitrose have already committed to remove John West’s tuna and Tesco has even started taking their tins off shelves. Sainsbury’s prides itself on its reputation as a sustainable business, but for as long as it continues to profit from John West’s unsustainable seafood, it’s killing our oceans.’


For images of the Esperanza in London, see here:

For video of the Esperanza in London, download here:

For images of the Esperanza’s tour in the Indian Ocean, see here:

What are “fish aggregating devices”?

Fish aggregating devices, or FADs, are floating objects which attract a large volume of marine life. When large purse seine nets are set around them, all kinds of creatures can be hauled up, including sharks and even turtles. FADs are also contributing to overfishing through the catching of juvenile tuna, which compromises the ability of fish stocks to reproduce at a sustainable level.

For further information, comment and interview requests, contact:

Luke Massey,, +44 (0)7973 873 155

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