John West canned tuna. (Photo: Greenpeace)
Greenpeace slams John West as worst canned tuna brand
Monday, October 22, 2012, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
Greenpeace has released its 4th Canned Tuna Guide and ranked John West, Australia’s largest selling brand, as the most destructive brand.
The guide, which is intended to help consumers make informed choices, assesses brands on factors including whether they use fish aggregating devices (FADs).
While other brands are leaving this method behind, John West has not vowed to give them up. As a result, 10 per cent of the catch of John West’s suppliers is made up of bycatch including sharks, rays, baby tuna and turtles, Greenpeace explained.
John West’s tuna haul yields enough bycatch to fill 10 million cans every year.
"Sea creatures are killed because John West continues to use outdated and destructive fishing methods," said Greenpeace ocean campaigner Nathaniel Pelle.
John West sells 97 million cans of tuna a year -- over a third of all canned tuna in Australia. It claims it is committed to sustainability but, for 98 per cent of its tuna, John West still permits the use of FADs with nets even though other brands all over the world have banned the use of FADs, including John West UK and John West’s main Australian competitors.
"In the UK, all tuna brands including John West have already committed to make the change,” Pelle said, AAP reports. "The Australian tuna industry should be embarrassed to be lagging so far behind the UK."
Greenpeace has now launched a campaign, Reject John West, to persuade John West to change. It includes a spoof video revealing the company's harmful fishing methods, ADNews reports.
Meanwhile, two major brands, Greenseas and Sirena, have pledged to ban the use of FADs by 2015. Last year, Safcol switched to 100 per cent pole and line tuna.
Kaelene McLennan, John West's corporate sustainability manager, said John West was working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
"We have made a sustainability commitment across all our products, which we've committed to be responsibly sourced by 2015," McLennan said.
"We are market leader and we're working as hard as we can to secure the most sustainable sourced fish in accordance with advice from WWF. 2015 is our goal and we're working our butts off to get there," she added.
- John West Announces Sustainable Seafood Partnership with WWF
By Natalia Real