Greenpeace demonstration in front of Dongwon's facilities. (Photo: Greenpeace)
Greenpeace goes after Dongwon over their fishing methods
Monday, September 17, 2012, 05:10 (GMT + 9)
Greenpeace has accused South Korean fishing company Dongwon Industries of using unsustainable methods for its tuna fishing operations.
Greenpeace climbers splayed a fishing net and an image of a big fishbone with a slogan that says “Dongwon Korea's No.1 Ocean Plunderer” across the entrance of Dongwon's headquarters. The protest coincides with the Ocean Defender's Tour of Greenpeace ship MV Esperanza in the same country to raise awareness on the negative impacts of overfishing.
In addition, Greenpeace representatives gave company officials a giant tuna can containing messages from hundreds of consumers urging the company to switch to sustainable fishing practices.
Dongwon continues to sell yellowfin tuna despite scientific warnings that the species is threatened by overfishing. Dongwon also uses fish aggregation devices (FADs) known for resulting in a large amount of unwanted bycatch, according to Greenpeace.
|Catch share of purse seine tuna by company in 2010 (Graph: Greenpeace)
“Dongwon is the biggest tuna company in South Korea in terms of fishing capacity and dominates the canned tuna market in the country with more than 50 per cent market share,” explained Greenpeace East Asia Senior Oceans Campaigner Yuen Ping Chow. “However, their business methods and policies are not sustainable. We are here to show the public that the company's fishing process is done on the back of overfishing and indiscriminate bycatch, which contributes to tuna species depletion."
Greenpeace is calling on Dongwon to commit to stopping the use of FADs in its purse seine fishing, stop selling Pacific yellowfin and bigeye products and backing the establishment of marine reserves in the Pacific Ocean, where the company sources a large portion of its tuna supply.
|Canned tuna market. (Photo: Greenpeace)
The environmental group recently released its first-ever sustainability ranking of three major canned tuna brands sold in South Korea, “The hidden secret of canned tuna,” which ranked Dongwon last due to its destructive fishing practices and a refusal to commit to sustainable fishing. The other two brands are Sajo and Ottogi, which both fell in the orange category because their sustainability policies are weak, especially in comparison to leaders elsewhere, Greenpeace said.
Last year, the green group projected an animation depicting the trail of Pacific tuna destruction onto the office building of Sajo Industries in the city of Busan to protest its destructive fishing practices.
“People are now concerned about the environment. Consumers want to buy products from sustainable sources. As the number one tuna brand in Korea, Dongwon should listen to its customers, then take the lead in sustainability, both nationally and internationally,” Chow added.
Greenpeace is pushing for tuna brands across the globe to implement policies that support the conservation of tuna species and oppose destructive fishing. Already, major tuna retailers in the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Italy have improved their sourcing policy and provided sustainable products.
- Greenpeace attacks tuna company
By Natalia Real