Press release – 3 December, 20123 December, 2012, Sydney: Just six weeks after the launch of Greenpeace’s ‘Reject John West’ campaign, John West has pledged to stop using destructive fishing methods that needlessly kill sharks, rays, baby tuna and turtles.This is another major victory for our oceans following the banning of the super trawler earlier this year.

“This year has shown that Australia is an ocean-loving nation and we’re prepared to fight for its protection. It was people power that stopped the super trawler fishing Australian waters, and it was consumer pressure that got John West to stop its destructive fishing,” said Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle.

“In six weeks 20,000 Australians demanded John West respect fisheries science and change their tuna,” said Pelle. “This is a win for consumers and a win for the oceans. It shows that when Australians take action together, we can bring about real change.”

Greenpeace launched a nation-wide campaign in late October targeting John West’s use of destructive Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) with purse seine nets. This fishing method needlessly kills hundreds of thousands of tonnes of juvenile tunas, sharks, rays, and critically endangered sea turtles every year.

In a statement released earlier today, John West committed to a complete ban on the use of FADs to fish for its tuna by 2015.  John West has also committed not to source tuna from the Pacific Commons that Pacific Island Nations want protected from fishing.

John West joins major Australian brands Greenseas, Safcol and Sirena in their commitment to responsible fishing methods.  Greenpeace’s global tuna campaign has seen all brands and retailers in the UK, and Safeway in the US rule out the use of FADs. Coles and Woolworths are now the only two major companies on the Australian market not to have committed to sustainable fishing.

The announcement comes just as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meets in the Philippines to discuss extensive FAD bans and other measures to protect the world’s largest tuna fishery.

Find out how other canned tuna brands stack up on sustainability: