As the largest branded supplier of seafood products in Australia, John West Australia takes its role in safeguarding ocean resources seriously.
We are aware that Greenpeace has made claims to the media regarding the sustainability of John West tuna products and in particular the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs), a device used to attract fish. John West has been working towards improving the sustainability of our products for many years and in 2012 we were proud to announce our partnership with the world’s largest independent conservation organisation, WWF.
This partnership will see all John West products sourced sustainably by 2015. Through our partnership John West supports the WWF position on FADs and recognises that if there is no way to source sustainably from FADs, then only tuna caught without using FADs will be sourced in order to meet our 2015 sustainability goal.
The WWF & John West partnership commits John West Australia to WWF’s Global Sustainable Seafood Charter. As a signatory to the charter John West joins other companies who have made similar commitments to seafood sustainability with WWF including Coles, Tassal, Blackmores and Marks and Spencer.
WWF is working with John West to provide expert advice to support the review of seafood sourcing across all John West products to help us to ensure our products are sustainably sourced. Through our partnership with WWF, John West is investing in conservation projects that are aimed at improving the environmental performance of tuna fisheries.
We are aware that Greenpeace has reported to the media that the fishing methods used to catch John West tuna results in a 10% bycatch, a claim we wish to clarify. The majority of tuna used in our products is sourced from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean purse seine fishery (tuna used in our Pole and Line range is sourced from the Maldives). Data collected by independent scientific observers shows that non tuna species comprise less than 2% of the catch in this fishery. In addition last year over 60% of fishing activity was undertaken without using FADs – a device used to attract fish. We support all actions being taken by scientists and fisheries managers including Pacific Island nations and the Western and Central Pacific fisheries commission to ensure that the WCPO purse seine fishery is sustainable.
John West has long been a supporter of sustainable seafood with all of our Alaskan Salmon products carrying the Marine Stewardship Council eco label for almost a decade. We also launched a new range of Skinless and Boneless Salmon earlier this year which also carries the distinctive blue MSC certification eco label. Earlier this year we also launched a range of pole and line caught skipjack tuna.
Sustainability is a journey that we embarked on many years ago and is something that we are passionate about. We will continue to work towards improving the sustainability of our seafood products in order to reach our 2015 goal.
If you’d like to learn more about the 2012 Tuna Ranking Guide & John West’s responses, please click here:
2012 Canned Tuna Ranking Response
1 Secretariat of the Pacific Community Oceanic Fisheries Programme (SPC OFP). 2010. Non-Target Species Interactions with the Tuna Fisheries of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. (http://www.wcpfc.int/node/2954).
2 Williams, P. & Terawasi, P. 2012. Overview of Tuna Fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, including Economic Conditions – 2011 (http://www.wcpfc.int/node/5408)