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Greenpeace Canada ranks canned tuna brands

Photo courtesy The Canadian Press.

The Canadian Press

Greenpeace Canada says a survey of 14 major tuna fish brands sold in the country suggests most of them come from destructive fishery practices.

A report by the environmental organization gives a passing grade to only two brands — Wild Planet Foods and Raincoast Trading — because they use more selective fishing gear, support more locally owned operations and provide clearer labelling for consumers.

Ocean Fisheries took third place, while several house brand tuna sold by grocery stores followed down the ranking list.

Popular brand Clover Leaf, which holds the largest market share of Canada's canned seafood, was ranked 11th and didn't respond to the survey.

"Unico came in last after not responding to Greenpeace's questionnaire and having no publicly available information suggesting any type of policy or sustainability commitment," the report authors said.

Greenpeace said tuna stocks are on the decline and are plagued by overfishing and harvesting techniques that threaten other marine life, including turtles, sharks and sea birds.

The organization said it wants supermarket chains and canned fish brands to provide tuna from sustainable sources and avoid illegal and destructive fisheries.

"Canned tuna is a staple in many Canadian homes and is found in every supermarket chain, but that could change if tuna sourcing doesn’t," Greenpeace oceans campaigner Sarah King said in a statement.

A report released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Monday said global fish consumption hit record levels in 2008, thanks in large part to the growing fish-farming industry.

However, the report also noticed that many fisheries — including most tuna stocks — are still struggling due to overfishing.