Mitsubishi and Walmart agree to clean up fish sourcing practices

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
March 09, 2011



Two big players in seafood today announced that they are changing the way their fish are caught. Mitsubishi, which owns the UK's most popular brand for tuna in a tin, Princes, and Walmart, which owns Asda, have agreed to stop buying from fishermen who use purse seines fishing in conjunction with fish aggregating devices (FADs) by 2014. These methods have been blamed in part for the vast overfishing of the world's tuna and helping to decimate other species, such as sharks and rays, as bycatch.

"Today’s announcements by Princes and Asda are great news for sharks, tunas and our oceans," said David Ritter, head of Greenpeace UK’s oceans campaign, which has been targeting Princes for months to change its policy.

Fish aggregating devices float in the water and attract large schools of tuna and other species to them. Then the massive nets of the purse seine scoops everything up indiscriminately. The companies will still use purse seine fishing, but not with the FADs. Given global overfishing, conservationists generally agree that the most sustainable fishing method is old-fashioned pole and line.

Princes has also agreed not to purchase tuna caught in the Pacific high sea pockets, a region that Greenpeace is pushing as a marine protected area (MPAs).

"This move by Princes and Asda will put enormous pressure on the rest of the global tuna industry to start following sustainable practices. Consumers are not interested in being made complicit in the destruction of oceans by their tuna purchase decisions," said Sari Tolvanen Greenpeace International oceans campaigner.

Greenpeace has said it will be next targeting John West in the UK, which is owned by Thai Union, the world's largest seafood company and still uses FADs.













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (March 09, 2011).

Mitsubishi and Walmart agree to clean up fish sourcing practices.

http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0309-hance_princes.html