A bit fishy: Greenpeace hits out

AT LEAST 10 per cent of John West's tuna catch is made up of other marine life, with a host of sea creatures killed because the company uses outdated and destructive fishing methods, Greenpeace will claim this week.

AT LEAST 10 per cent of John West's tuna catch is made up of other marine life, with a host of sea creatures killed because the company uses outdated and destructive fishing methods, Greenpeace will claim this week.

Greenpeace's annual survey judged the producers on species of tuna and where caught, how well their products could be traced to the original fishery, their catch methods and if they had indicated whether they would stop using certain fishing practices.

About 250 million cans of tuna are sold in Australia every year and decisions taken by the big brands have a big impact on our oceans, the environment group said.

Tomorrow Greenpeace launches a campaign attacking the company's fishing methods and the unnecessary killing of the bycatch that includes sharks, rays, baby tuna and endangered sea turtles. As part of the national campaign, Greenpeace will release Canned Tuna Guide, to help consumers make an informed choice.

Greenpeace said the main attack was on John West because of the volume of tuna it takes, which in turn means the company accounts for the largest volume of bycatch.

"Australians would be horrified if they knew the real cost of John West," said Greenpeace Ocean Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle.

Fish 4 Ever, which tops the rating, usse only locally owned coastal fisheries in West Africa and closely monitors fish stocks, Greenpeace said. Ranked second was Safcol, followed by Greenseas, IGA and John West, ahead of the supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths.

Greenpeace is demanding that John West commit to stop using "fish aggregating devices" - floating objects that are used to attract fish of all types - and giant nets that result in the high level of bycatch.

Greenpeace said at least 10 per cent of each haul was bycatch - 10 times higher than that of nets set without FADs, it said.

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