Campaign to secure the sale of sustainably sourced Tuna in UK supermarkets claims “success”

The Guardian reports, 10th April 2014: “LDH, owner of Oriental & Pacific, a brand stocked by Tesco and Asda, told campaigners it would sell only sustainably sourced tuna from April 2015.

At present tuna for Oriental & Pacific is caught using the purse seine method involving large nets that scoop up all kinds of marine creatures that have been attracted by the industry’s floating rafts known as fish aggregation devices.

Other brands, including John West and Princes, also use this fishing method to some extent but they have taken some action to reduce its use. Until this week LDH, which is partly controlled by John West, had made no such pledge.

Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner, Ariana Densham, said: “It’s great news that the manufacturers of Oriental & Pacific have reacted to public pressure. Their tinned tuna is caught using a method that kills sharks, rays and turtles. But next year that will end. That means this dodgy tuna will no longer be found on the shelves of Britain’s biggest supermarket.” She said that was “no thanks to Tesco” though. “They failed to move when we revealed how Oriental & Pacific tuna is caught.”

Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “I want to say a huge thank you to the thousands of people who told Tesco they didn’t want this sort of tuna on sale.” While Tesco is not the only retailer to stock Oriental & Pacific it faced particular criticism in a campaign begun by Greenpeace and Fearnley-Whittingstall last month because it had made a public commitment to protect the oceans by switching its own-label canned tuna to environmentally friendly pole-and-line caught sources in 2012. Yet that same year the store also began to stock Oriental & Pacific.

Densham said: “Tesco should now make a public commitment that any new brands of tinned tuna they sell will be caught using sustainable methods.”

Tesco said it had had talks with LDH about improving fishing methods and had offered the services of its sustainability experts. A spokesperson said: “We always have an open dialogue with our suppliers, and it is good that in this case we were able to help Oriental & Pacific listen to what our customers told us they want to see.”

Greenpeace said it would now be examining tuna sold in discount stores, such as Aldi and Lidl, where more and more shoppers are heading. Both those stores, the group said, offered pole-and-line caught tinned fish and had said they were committed to improving the sustainability of their fish, but the majority of their tuna was caught using the purse seine method.

Source: The Guardian, 10th April 2014. For the full text see http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/10/greenpeace-tv-chef-celebrate-tuna-producer-agrees-change

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