July 28th, 2011 by

John West, one of the UK’s leading canned seafood manufacturers has today announced a plan in support of tuna sustainability and marine biodiversity.

The main aim of the plan is of sourcing 100 per cent of its UK sales of tuna by a combination of pole and line and / or purse seine FAD-free (fish aggregation devices) methods by the end of 2016.

The five year plan has been developed in consultation with Greenpeace, marine biology scientists and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) of which WWF is a founding member.

It will follow a series of transparent stages, commencing immediately across the following initiatives:

  • John West will source at least 25 per cent of its UK tuna sales from pole and line by the end of 2012.
  • It will source at least 35 per cent of its UK tuna sales from pole and line by the end of 2013.
  • For the remaining 65 per cent, John West as an interim measure will only buy tuna purse seined on FADs where the boats are able to provide year-on-year best practice qualified audits of by-catch levels, and have agreed to adopt measures to ensure 50 per cent by-catch reduction by 2014.
  • John West will source at least 50 per cent of its UK tuna sales from pole and line by the end of 2014.
  • For the remaining 50 per cent, John West as an interim measure will only buy tuna purse seined on FADs where the boats can prove that they have reduced by-catch by 50 per cent as against the 2011 baseline.
  • John West will encourage and support all purse seine “FAD-Free” initiatives.
  • It will source 100 per cent of its UK tuna sales from properly audited pole and line and/or FAD-free purse seine by the end of 2016.
  • John West will continue to engage with Greenpeace, other stakeholders, scientists and the ISSF throughout this program to ensure effectiveness and transparency.
  • In addition, John West supports the creation of the Pacific Commons Marine Reserves and commits not to source from these areas.

As part of the implementation of the new tuna sourcing program, from September 2011, John West will roll out a new range of pole and line sourced tuna products.

From September 2011, John West will roll out a new range of pole and line sourced tuna products

The introduction of the new range is a significant investment for John West, which claims to place sustainable fishing at the heart of its business around realistic, achievable targets.

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The initial John West pole and line range will comprise of 185g Tuna Chunks (MRRP £1.59) and 3x80g Tuna Chunks (MRRP £2.09).

Both packs will be available in Brine, Sunflower Oil and Springwater and the range will roll out through supermarkets nationwide from September.

The introduction of a John West branded pole and line range forms part of a staged sustainable sourcing tuna programme which has been developed in consultation with Greenpeace and a wide range of industry experts.

Providing the UK consumer with this branded choice of pole and line caught tuna forms one important part of John West’s wider sustainability and traceability agenda.

Paul Reenan, Managing Director, John West, said: “

The launch of our genuine transparent and detailed plan for tuna sustainability marks a step change in our business.

“We will need full support of boat owners, retailers and consumers to meet our goals.

“We know we have a long way to go to meet these challenging targets, but we are committed to continuing to place sustainable fishing practices at the heart of our business.”

John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, said:

‘These welcome commitments from John West complete the ground-breaking shifts seen in the UK since Greenpeace’s tinned tuna campaign launched in January.

“The rapid launch of a new John West pole and line tuna range sets the bar for the rest of the UK’s supermarkets and tuna brands who have newly committed to deliver sustainable tuna.

“Historic changes have taken place in the UK, the world’s second largest consumer of tuna. The time is ripe for companies worldwide to deliver sustainable tuna in a way that protects tuna stocks and our oceans.”

Currently, all John West products display detailed information to guarantee the high standards of traceability, including the species and the ocean where it was caught.

John West today also announced the launch of a range of salmon, mackerel and sardines, which will carry the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo further demonstrating John West’s interest to source these species whenever possible from MSC certified fisheries.

The launch of John West’s sustainable tuna sourcing programme is one part of a wider mix of sustainable initiatives which include respecting marine reserves and full compliance with the EU illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) regulation.

More detail can be found on the website by clicking here.




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