Canned Tuna Sustainability Ranking
The delicate ecosystems of the world’s oceans are of great importance to us at Ocean’s Seafood. It’s no longer enough to offer a few sustainable choices. We believe that all canned tuna must be responsibly sourced.
Our vision for Ocean’s Seafood canned tuna sustainability has become a reality. In June, 2017, we were recognized as the first major tuna brand in Canada to complete its full switch to only responsibly-caught tuna products. Greenpeace Canada ranked us in 4th spot in their 2017 Canned Tuna Sustainability Ranking. We are now the largest, most sustainable, readily-available national brand of canned tuna in Canada.
We are proud of our Pole and Line canned tuna products. Greenpeace Canada recognized our efforts to increase our Pole and Line tuna product offerings as tuna caught this way is an environmentally responsible fishing method. In addition, the Pole&Line Skipjack product line has received certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an independent non-profit organization which sets a standard for sustainable fishing.
By the end of 2017, we will transition 100 per cent of our popular ‘light’ tuna to pole-and- line or free swimming caught. These are both “one by one” fishing techniques.
“One by One” Tuna fishing.
You may not have heard the term “One by One” fishing before. The term describes techniques where fish are caught one at a time. Methods that use one hook and one line include pole-and-line, hand-line and troll. These fishing techniques are sustainable and easy on the environment. Our pole and line tuna is harvested using a one by one technique.
In pole-and-line fishing, live bait is attached to hooks and the line is thrown onto the surface of the water. Fishers also spray water onto the surface of the ocean in hopes to attract schools of tuna. This practice is called chumming. When chumming for tuna, fishers use barbless hooks. This enables quick release of the catch so lines can be back in the water as fast as possible.
Handline fishing is one of the most basic fishing methods used today. Although techniques do vary from region to region, usually a single line and hook is cast into the water. Fishing from a stationary boat, the fisher hauls in the tuna by hand.
This technique deploys several lines at a time from one vessel. Trolling is a technique that attracts the fish with movement. The fishing vessel moves along slowly to draw attention to lures or baitfish. When a fish is caught, the single lines are reeled in one by one.
This method is not to be confused with “trawling”. Trawling is a method of fishing that drags a huge net behind a commercial boat. This method can be responsible for a large amount of bycatch. Trolling on the other hand is still a one by one fishing method.
So why is one by one fishing so important?
Rich in history, one by one fishing has many cultural and environmentally significant benefits.
There are many communities throughout the world that rely on tuna fishing. One by one tuna fishing has been a way of life for these communities, for literally hundreds of years. Keeping these culturally significant techniques alive and in active practice is very important. This benefits the specific communities and holds their culture in high esteem.
The benefits to these fishing communities are far reaching. One by one fishing keeps many more people employed in comparison to larger industrial fishing techniques. Plus, most of the one by one fishing operations in these regions are locally owned. This generates a wave of positive economic benefits throughout the communities.
Plus, all of Ocean’s suppliers must sign the “Ocean’s Supplier Code of Conduct”. Through third party audits we ensure high ethical standards, good working conditions, worker safety, and fair pay.
In relation to the environment, the benefits of using one by one fishing techniques cannot be understated.
One by one fishing techniques yield virtually “zero” bycatch. Bycatch, is other marine animals that are accidentally caught during fishing. One by one fishing leaves turtle, seabirds, sharks and many other at risk animals unharmed.
These fishing methods are very gentle on the sensitive marine environments where these creatures live. Larger industrial fishing techniques can literally decimate marine environments leaving marine animals without food or refuge.
One by one techniques are considered low capacity. Only a portion of fish can be caught from one school of tuna and this helps limit the fishing pressure and keeps tuna fishing sustainable.
Ocean’s tuna is carried across the country in major grocery stores, including Save-On- Foods, Loblaw, Sobey’s, Metro, Costco groups, and many others.