US canned tuna ranking issued by Greenpeace. (Image: Greenpeace)
Most canned tuna comes from unsustainable sources, Greenpeace warns
Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 03:40 (GMT + 9)
Over 80 pc of tuna sold in the American market fails to meet fundamental sustainability standards, according to Greenpeace Canned Tuna Ranking.
The NGO drew this conclusion after analysing 14 well-known US national and private label supermarket brands including retail giants Walmart and Kroger and finding out that most do not have adequate measures in place to address both sustainability and the human welfare and labour issues that plague the industry.
“Consumers should know that popular and trusted canned tuna brands are contributing to ocean destruction at an alarming rate,” said Greenpeace Seafood Markets Lead Graham Forbes.
The study showed evidence that three of the biggest brands, StarKist, Bumble Bee, and Chicken of the Sea, all of whom list extensive seafood sustainability practices on their websites, are said to be among the worst offenders.
In this regard, Forbes added: “While the biggest brands have thus far refused to offer sustainable tuna, the silver lining here is that other companies are stepping up to provide ocean safe options for their customers.”
Nevertheless, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) called the list “non-scientific, non-transparent and completely subjective“ and explained the list itself follows the model Greenpeace has used for years: rank companies based on a system for which the scoring methodology is totally arbitrary and hidden, then promote those rankings in the media.
According to Greenpeace ranking Wild Planet, American Tuna and Ocean Naturals received the top scores and were identified as the best choices for US tuna consumers – all offering ocean safe products. It was also determined that each brand has a comprehensive approach to sustainability and sources from operations striving to be fair and socially responsible.
Whole Foods finished near the top tier for selling only more responsibly caught tuna. Hy-Vee and Trader Joe’s also ranked near the top, but continue to have some outstanding sustainability concerns.
The US tuna ranking is part of a global Greenpeace campaign to transition toward fair and sustainable global tuna fisheries for our oceans and ocean-dependent people.
In addition to the ranking, Greenpeace developed a “Decoding the Can” page to assist consumers with the various labels and options on a tuna can.