This shocking video about destructive tuna fishing underlines why we need accurate seafood labelling in Australia.
In this video, with footage from the Indian Ocean and leaked by fishermen, you can see all the reasons Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigned, and won, to stop bad practices in the Australian tuna industry.
The video shows FADS – the marine magnets employed by industrial tuna fishers – wiping out bigeye tuna and killing millions of sharks, rays, and other species. Even turtles.
As a result of Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s campaign, every major brand and supermarket in Australia has now cut their reliance on FADs which are employed by industrial tuna fishers from the EU and countries including USA, Japan, Taiwan to catch skipkjack tuna efficiently.
Brands like Safcol are already 100 per cent pole and line or FAD-free and all other companies which sell tinned tuna have made a commitment to put this in place in Australia by the end of 2015.
This all started with seafood labelling.
Until tuna brands knew which part of the ocean their tuna came from, the species, and how it was caught they couldn’t help solve the problem. Importantly they couldn’t give you, their customers, the information you need to make an informed choice.
Most of them now voluntarily label their tins with the species and where it’s caught.
The video shows footage from industrial-scale Spanish and French purse seiners operating far from their home in the Indian Ocean.
In Australia, we get most of our tuna from the Pacific.
I’ve spent enough time at sea, on land with fishing communities and in conferences where decisions are made about fisheries management in the Indian and Pacific oceans to know there’s a difference between these two major areas of fishing.
And the stats prove it. In the Indian Ocean, over 90% of tuna is caught using FADs. In the Pacific, most tuna is now caught FAD-free.
Stocks of yellowfin, albacore, and skipjack are all doing worse in the Indian Ocean than the Pacific because of bad fisheries management.
And so are the sharks and other species because of destructive FAD-use.
Choosing pole and line caught tuna from either ocean is a safe enough bet.
Not every fish we are offered for purchase is a good choice and making a sustainable choice can be complicated. But if you don’t know what species of fish you’re eating, where it came from, or how it was caught you don’t even have the basics you need to think about making an informed decision.
Help end these destructive fishing practices. Demand accurate seafood labelling – visit www.labelmyfish.com