Campaigners have accused Tesco of stocking a brand of tuna that is caught in a way that can harm other wildlife.
Greenpeace said the supermarket giant pledged in 2012 to ensure all its own brand tuna was sustainably caught.
But the group says Tesco has started to stock tinned tuna from low-cost brand Oriental and Pacific which it says is caught in large nets.
Tesco said Greenpeace was “simply wrong” and the manufacturer said it “totally refutes” the claims.
Greenpeace claimed the brand was “dirty” because tuna in it was caught in big nets, known as purse seines, that could kill sea creatures.
The environmental group said Tesco “must try harder” to make sure tinned tuna was sustainably caught.
Greenpeace said Sainsbury’s was at the forefront of sustainable tuna, and Waitrose, the Co-operative, Marks and Spencer, and Morrisons were also praised.
Ariana Densham, Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner, added: “Morrisons joins Sainsbury’s as a market leader on tuna sustainability. They have eliminated unsustainable tuna from their products, which is great news for sharks, turtles and rays.
“If Tesco wants to catch up with the front runners and win back consumer confidence, they must take this dirty tuna off their shelves today.”
Campaigner and celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who featured the issue on his Fish Fight programme on Channel 4 last night, called on Tesco to take the brand off its shelves.
Tesco said it had moved much faster than many of its competitors to make sure its own-brand tuna was 100% caught using a pole and line, which avoids catching other species by accident.
It said it had also promised to use sustainable tuna in other products such as pastas, sandwiches and salads.
A spokesman said: “Many of our competitors continue to sell non-pole and line caught tuna. Customers have a great choice of sustainable tuna at Tesco.”
LDH, which owns the Oriental and Pacific (O&P) tuna brand, supplies a range of products including canned tomatoes, fish, fruit and vegetables, and dried pasta.
In a statement, the company said: “At least 85% of the tuna we sell is fished using the pole and line method; our O&P brand skipjack tuna is caught using the purse seine fishing method, which accounts for 63% of all tuna caught around the globe.
“Credible scientific research by the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations shows that stocks of skipjack tuna are healthy.
“All of our tuna suppliers are members of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and support its research-led initiatives for long-term conservation of tuna stocks.”
The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support
With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.
The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.
Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.
The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.
“While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”
There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.
This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.
Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.”
Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd
This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.
For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.
Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.
“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”
Jim Standing fourth element co-founder
Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE
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