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Princes goes shark friendly

One city food firm bows to pressure - but John West stays on naughty step

Published on March 14th 2011.


Princes goes shark friendly

LIVERPOOL food firm Princes – who sell more tinned tuna than any other company in the UK – has felt the bite of campaigners and is to stop using a controversial fishing method which is responsible for killing sharks.

And supermarket chain Asda has also announced that it will shift to greener fishing methods for their canned tuna.

The move follows a campaign waged by Greenpeace, who earlier this year placed Princes at the bottom of a tinned tuna sustainability league table.

Just a few weeks ago, Greenpeace campaigners in Liverpool climbed onto the Liver building, home to Princes’ offices, while others dressed in shark costumes and blared out the theme tune to hit movie ‘Jaws’ through a stereo system. http://www.liverpoolconfidential.co.uk/News-and-Comment/General/Princes-tuna-is-shark-bait_17117.asp

Despite the Princes climbdown, we may not have seen the end of Greenpeace in the city.

Another Liverpool firm, John West, is now stranded as the UK’s most environmentally unfriendly tinned tuna company, and a clear target for green campaigners.

Says Greenpeace: “The damaging fishing method which Princes and Asda will drop, but which John West continue to employ, uses vast nets called ‘purse

seines’ along with fish aggregating devices (FADs). FADs are floating objects often equipped with satellite-linked sonar devices. Tuna instinctively gather around them, but FADs also attract a host of other species, including sharks, that are then scooped up by the purse seines.”

Besides John West, Morrisons is now the least sustainable of the supermarket own-brands. They also continue to use FADs and purse seines to catch the bulk of their tinned tuna.

Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer have already stopped selling tuna caught this way. And in January Tesco promised to follow suit after pressure from Greenpeace and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

David Ritter, head of Greenpeace’s oceans campaign, said: “These announcements by Princes and Asda are great news for sharks and other marine life.

”The majority of the UK market have now distanced themselves from the destructive methods still being used to catch John West and Morrisons tinned tuna. Surely these two will now feel the heat of consumer pressure if they refuse to change their practices.”

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