Where does your canned tuna stack up?
by Sarah Foster on April 19th, 2013
By Katherine Dolmage, SeaChoice Sustainable Seafood Market Analyst
Tuna is a confusing species, especially when you are trying to determine the sustainability of one product versus another. There are so many species, stocks fishing methods, and who knows what “chunk light” means, anyways? Many tuna stocks are overfished or depleted, and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries are common on the high seas where tuna often are found.
That’s why the annual Greenpeace Canned Tuna Sustainability Ranking is such a huge help to consumers. These rankings represent the results of extensive surveys sent to the major canned tuna producers in Canada, asking for information not only on what types of tuna, methods and areas of catch are used, but also what policies producers have in place for tuna procurement as well as to ensure that the vessels catching the fish are operating legally and adhering to labour laws.
For the third year in a row, Raincoast Trading and Wild Planet lead the way for sustainability in canned tuna. Both of these companies’ source pole and line caught tuna, support sustainable fisheries and also push for large scale changes in the industry.
SeaChoice was involved with the Greenpeace process with two of our partners, Canada Safeway and the Overwaitea Food Group, and are excited to see both retailers move up in the rankings this year. After many months of hard work to produce the first fish aggregating device (FAD)-free skipjack tuna by a national brand, Canada Safeway is deserving of the rank of top retailer. Greenpeace notes that both Canada Safeway and Overwaitea Foods have plans to continue their procurement of more sustainable tuna, and we are excited to work with them to bring these products to shelves.
As consumers, it is extremely hard to do all of the research and know all of the facts behind where all of your products come from. But hopefully this information will make it easy to purchase tuna that you can feel confident is not only a healthy option for you, but one that supports healthy oceans as well!