Is John West really “vehemently against” dirty tuna fishing?

Posted by Ariana Densham — 24 October 2014 at 3:29pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
Will John West end their use of destructive tuna fishing that harms other marine life?

This is how John West responded after over 100,000 messages were sent demanding they stick to their promise to completely phase out fish aggregation devices (FADs).

This followed the release of leaked footage which shows sharks, turtles, marlins and rays dying as a result of tuna purse seining on FADs.* The Guardian and Vice covered the story. 

This method of fishing is a death trap for marine life, and John West and Princes both promised to phase it out. However, recent intelligence suggests that both companies are about to break their commitments to customers. 

So it’s fantastic to see that pressure from John West’s customers has forced them to release a statement saying that they are ‘vehemently against the fishing practices illustrated in Greenpeace’s video.’ They are saying they are against purse seining on FADs. And they restate that it is their company policy to ban this method. 

However, confusingly the rest of their statement contradicts this. John West also say they are carrying out extensive research to improve FADs, and in fact, they are implementing so called ‘eco-FADs’ (spot the greenwash!) across their fleet by the end of 2015.

So which is it? Will John West ban FADs and reconfirm its existing commitment to go 100% pole and line and FAD free by end of 2016, or are they now building upon a broken promise to their customers, with green spin and further lies? Do they think that no-one will notice? 

As for Princes, they have conspicuously kept their heads down. In fact they have been silent ever since we privately laid out our substantial concerns to their draft revised tinned tuna policy about a month. 

What the last 3 days has shown (as have the last 10 years we have been campaigning on this issue), is that tuna consumers and customers of Princes and John West are outraged by this method of fishing. They expect to buy sustainable tuna in supermarkets and they will not tolerate companies trashing the oceans to fill tins.

We won’t accept broken promises. Princes and John West must publicly keep to their word and reconfirm their existing commitments to go 100% pole and line & FAD-free by their existing deadlines. 

*Note: the footage in the video was passed to us by brave fishermen on French and Spanish tuna boats fishing in the Indian Ocean. The footage is as recent as 2013 and goes back to 2008. It is taken from many hours of film and pictures.

TAKE ACTION: Send your message to Princes and John West to stop destructive tuna fishing

About Ariana

I’m Ariana and I’m an campaigner in the Oceans team at Greenpeace UK.  

interested? Follow me on twitter @arianadensham


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