September 1, 2017
Consumers of tuna from the world’s biggest fishery are are being “betrayed” over its sustainability, according to a coalition of scientists, retailers, politicians and campaigners, including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
The vast Western and Central Pacific fishery provides about half of the world’s skipjack tuna, the type most commonly found in cans on supermarket shelves. Some is certified as sustainably caught by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and carries the group’s “blue tick” logo. But the same boats can also use, at other times, unsustainable methods to catch uncertified fish, a contradiction seen as unacceptable by the new On The Hook coalition.
“MSC are betraying the trust of consumers and duping them into purchasing what they believe is truly sustainable tuna,” said Prof Callum Roberts, a leading fisheries expert at the University of York and part of the coalition. Polling by the group showed that 77% of UK consumers who were aware of the MSC believe that vessels that caught MSC labelled products should meet MSC requirements at all times.
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