You will have noticed in the news this week that Greenpeace is giving a fair rev up to Sealord NZ about how they catch their tuna. The same tuna you and I purchase in cans at the supermarket. It is certainly an interesting battle to watch…

From Karli Thomas, Greenpeace NZ:

It’s working!! There’s some good news about our campaign to get New Zealand’s five main brands of canned tuna to start sourcing truly sustainable tuna. And with one click of your mouse you can help us get more.

We’ve been asking canned tuna brands to stop selling tuna that has been caught using purse seine nets with fish aggregation devices (FADs). FADs are like marine death traps. Used to lure tuna they also attract other marine species which are then scooped up in huge nets. This results in the death of sharks, turtles, juvenile tuna and other marine life – up to 10 times more than other more sustainable methods.

Over the last month more than 5400 concerned consumers have sent a ‘change your tuna’ message to New Zealand’s main brands of canned tuna.

As a result, Foodstuffs, the owner of the Pam’s brand, has announced it will introduce sustainably caught pole and line tuna to its canned range by the end of the year. Foodstuffs also says it is “actively investigating alternative options” to FAD-caught tuna.

There’s still some way to go but that’s encouraging news.

However, Sealord, New Zealand’s largest canned tuna brand, is taking the opposite approach. Sealord is responding that while it promotes sustainability there is “no simple answer” to the bycatch problem.

Well, there is. Stop sourcing FAD-caught tuna. That’s the simple step that Sealord, and the other brands, would take if they were serious about tuna sustainability.

We’re going back to Sealord to tell the company we know it can take this step – it’s just a matter of making the decision.

We’ll let you know how that goes, what we’ll be doing next and how you can help.

We also want John West, Greenseas and the own label brands of Progressive Enterprises (Home Brand, Select and Signature Range) to start sourcing truly sustainably tuna. With one click of your mouse you can send them all an email urging them to change their tuna now.

And Karli added these comments today:

We’ve just launched a new phase in our campaign to save Pacific tuna stocks. Recently we’ve been urging New Zealand’s main brands of canned tuna to help put an end to indiscriminate and wasteful fishing in the Pacific and support sustainable fisheries.

Thanks to all of you who have got involved by sending messages to those companies.

Now we’re focusing our attention on just one of those brands.Sealord is New Zealand’s largest brand of canned tuna and should be the market leader when it comes to sustainability – but it’s not. Sealord gets its tuna from companies using one of the worst catching methods that kills endangered sharks, turtles, juvenile tuna and other ocean life.

Today we’re launching a publicity campaign in downtown Auckland highlighting that Sealord doesn’t care how its tuna is caught. We’ve also released a video that exposes Sealord’s shameful practices – it’s the perfect length for a TV advert. View it here and pass it on so it goes viral.

Last week Sealord announced it was updating its branding. Sealord needs to change more than just its logo. Tell Sealord to change its tuna and move to more sustainable fishing methods.

Sealord promote themselves as ‘the seafood experts’. But, there’s nothing smart about catching everything then throwing back what you don’t want – known as bycatch – often when it’s dead or dying. That’s exploitation, not expertise.

Our message to Sealord is ‘change your tuna’. Sealord must stop sourcing tuna caught using purse seine nets combined with fish aggregation devices (FADs). Without this commitment Sealord is not serious about sustainability.

FADs are like marine death traps as they attract all sorts of ocean life, not just tuna, increasing the bycatch of purse seine fisheries up to 10 times more than other more sustainable methods.

One of the other main brands, Pams, is taking steps to change its tuna. Sealord, and the others, must do the same – not just hide behind a new logo.

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