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Greenpeace and Sealord quarrel over sustainable tuna
June 08, 2011, 05:04 AM

Greenpeace has launched a public

Sealord Group -- NZ’s biggest canned tuna producer -- and theSeafood Industry Council (Seafic) are rejecting the campaign. However, thegreen organisation is asking supermarkets to quit stocking Sealord and otherbrands, and retailers are paying attention.

“Sealord must stopbuying tuna for its canned products from companies using fishing methods whichkill endangered sharks, turtles, juvenile tuna and other ocean species,” saidGreenpeace New Zealand Oceans Campaigner Karli Thomas.

FADs, Ms Thomas said, attractall sorts of ocean life, making the bycatch of purse seines up to 10 timeshigher than other methods, and this is threatening the health of the Pacific.

A video released on theorganisation’s website depicts what it believes will be the future contents ofSealord tuna cans if the company does not change how it sources its fish.

“Sealord promotethemselves as ‘the seafood experts’ but there’s nothing smart about catchingeverything in the ocean then throwing back what you don’t want, injured, deador dying. That’s exploitation, not expertise,” Ms Thomas accused.

Last week, Sealord said it was updating its branding and hasargued that all its tuna is caught sustainably.

"In the area whereour tuna is fished, there are more than four billion skipjack tuna and morethan 380 million yellowfin tuna," Sealord Group communications managerAlison Sykora said, reports The Nelson Mail.

But Ms Thomas refutedthe statement and said that as long as the company does not switch to moresustainable fishing methods, it is not serious about sustainability.

Seafic said theGreenpeace campaign "ignores economic and environmental realities."CEO Peter Bodeker said pole-and-line fishing would not produce enough tuna tomeet the demand and would harm Pacific baitfish stocks.

Either way, more than7,500 concerned consumers have emailed New Zealand’s five main canned tunabrands over the last month asking them to switch to less destructive fishingmethods. Pams has responded by saying it is starting to take steps to offer asustainable option by introducing a pole and line caught range of canned tunaby year’s end, and said it was “actively investigating” alternative options toFAD-caught tuna.

“This is an encouragingstep in the right direction and follows what’s happening in overseas markets,”says Ms Thomas.

In the UK, all but oneof the major canned tuna brands have promised to stop using tuna caught bypurse seiners using FADs.




Source: (VASEP, 7/6/2011)
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