Dongwon purse seine ship MV Granada being repaired at a dry dock. (Photo: Greenpeace)
Greenpeace escalates anti-Dongwon campaign
Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 01:30 (GMT + 9)
Activists from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza on Sunday occupied the dry dock where one of Dongwon's purse seine ships, MV Granada, is being repaired. The activists closed the dock with a large banner saying "Dongwon's Destructive Fishing Starts Here."
Greenpeace has escalated its campaign against Korea's leading canned tuna brand for its unsustainable fishing policies.
A week ago, the group protested at Dongwon's headquarters in Seoul.
Dongwon, which has more than a 50 per cent market share of canned tuna in South Korea, also owns the biggest purse seine fishing fleet in the country – with 16 purse seine vessels in total.
In 2008, the South Korean company spent around USD 363 million to acquire the Starkist seafood brand and related manufacturing from Del Monte Foods, US.
MV Granada is part of Dongwon's Pacific fleet, which uses fish aggregating devices (FADs), a fishing method that causes high levels of bycatch of sharks, rays, turtles, whales and juvenile tuna, Greenpeace denounces.
According to the ecologist group, the company’s fishing targets include yellowfin and bigeye tuna, two species that are designated as near threatened and vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Because of this, Dongwon is listed at the bottom of Greenpeace's canned tuna ranking in Korea.
"The Korean fishing industry must support conservation efforts if they want to continue harvesting profits from commercial fisheries. Companies like Dongwon should support government policies to better manage our oceans and reduce fishing capacities. Instead, it is just fishing itself toward extinction," said Yuen Ping Chow, Greenpeace East Asia Senior Oceans Campaigner.
- Greenpeace goes after Dongwon over their fishing methods