The annual tuna rankings are out, and let's just say there are one or two brands whose practices are more than a little fishy when it comes to harvesting the world's most popular eating fish.
The rankings on the main brands available in Australia are compiled by Greenpeace, who assess the brands and supermarkets based on their commitment to sustainability and human rights.
The best brand of canned tuna to eat if you're into sound ecological and labour practices?
It's the British brand Fish 4 Ever, which sources 100 percent of its tuna from pole and line fishing. As you can see in the graphic below, no nets are employed. This is important because the minute you throw a net into the equation, you start catching turtles and sharks and other marine species.
Another way to ensure you catch other species is by using FADs, otherwise known as fish-aggregating devices.
FADs are buoys that attract fish. They are deployed in Australian waters each year by fisheries authorities to benefit recreational anglers. But when used on an industrial scale, they're seriously bad news.
Greenseas is the only major tuna brand in Australia which still uses FADs to catch tuna, despite an earlier commitment to abandon the method. Unsurprisingly, it came last on the rankings. As Greenpeace said:
"It is the only brand to have abandoned its commitment to sustainability. It was the first big brand to make the positive commitment to stop using destructive FADs, but has failed to follow through.
Greenseas fails the transparency test, providing no evidence to prove it can trace where its tuna comes from. It has also removed commitments and sustainability information from its website.
Most Australian tuna brands are striving to do the right thing, but Greenseas has unfortunately gone backwards. We urge Greenseas to reaffirm its commitment to end destructive fishing practices and to improve their transparency."
"Greenseas is certainly not living up to its name."
Greenpeace has started a campaign asking Woolworths to remove Greenseas tuna from its shelves. A spokesman told The Huffington Post Australia that 10,000 signatures had already been received.
The full tuna rankings are available on the changeyourtuna.org.au site. We won't give too much more away, except to say that John West came second behind Fish 4 Ever. You might recall that John West changed its fishing practices in 2012 after sustained pressure from Grenpeace and others.
Aldi came out top of the supermarkets, while everyone's favourite tuna brand (at least in this office) Sirena came fourth.
One last point. You might be wondering about the labour practices component of the ranking. That refers to the steps taken by a company to ensure that tuna fishing is not associated with human rights abuse or even slavery.
"The Tuna Guide this year includes an increased focus on the treatment of workers in the rankings," Greenpeace said in a statement.
"The International Labour Organisation last month slammed the Thai Government for failing to address forced labour, human trafficking, and murder in the fishing industry.
"Australians eat 50,000 tonnes of tuna every year and no one wants to buy tuna that is tied to human rights abuse or causes environmental destruction."
Nope, we don't. And thanks to the Greenpeace rankings, we don't have to. Salad niçoise, anyone?Suggest a correction