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Supermarket opts for sustainable tuna catch

Wednesday 8th June 2011

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One of New Zealand's two biggest supermarket chains, Foodstuffs, says it plans to sell tuna products caught by sustainable methods.

All standard and flavoured tuna sold under Foodstuffs' Pams brand will be caught without use of fish aggregation devices - acoustic buoys which attract tuna to a relatively small area of ocean before nets are used to scoop them up - by the end of the year, the company said today.

Greenpeace last month challenged the nation's five main tuna brands to stop using tuna caught with methods that also kill endangered sharks, turtles, juvenile tuna and other ocean species.

The aggregation devices can boost the bycatch - unwanted species - also caught in a net by up to 10 times more than other more sustainable methods, such as pole and line fishing.

Greenpeace said today the Foodstuffs announcement for its New World, Pak'n'Save and Four Square stores was a "big step" toward protecting tuna stocks and other ocean species in the Pacific from being wiped out by indiscriminate and wasteful fishing methods.

All Pacific tuna stocks are in decline, with bigeye and yellowfin species the most at risk, though Greenpeace said skipjack, the most common species used in canned products, was also under pressure.

Foodstuffs' general manager of own brands Dave McAteer said the retail chain would also be launching a new canned tuna range under its own brands, which would be caught with rod and line only.



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