Friday, May 21, 2010

Tell me the tuna fish you eat and I’ll tell you how eco-sustainable you are

by Annalisa Audino

For people that have attended the University and that have cohabited with other students, making the deadly jumps to arrive at the end of the month with money and food, they know that it can be a fundamental and economic seasoning for the pasta. For the one who live by themselves it is a companion of solitary dinners and for the one that is on diet a good ingredient for the salad. What are we speaking about? The tuna naturally.

The tuna in box is the more sold fish in the world market and the advertising campaignes try to make to appear their fishing as a picturesque handicraft industry. In reality the fleets that fish the tuna are among the most industrialised in the world and are responsible for the serious impacts on the oceans: besides the threatening of the availability of resources, it puts in danger the whole sea ecosystem since it is usually fished with methods that cause every year the death of thousand of sharks and sea turtles, among which species threatened byextinction. And finally, to suffer it is not only the environment but also the coastal populations: the seas are plundered by foreign fleets against minimum earnings and a high level of illegal fishing.

And do you know that Italy is one of the main importing European for the tuna in box, with an annual consumption that overcomes 140,000 tons and the second greatest producer in Europe, with a production that in 2006 arrived to 85,000 tons of cans for a billing of around 500 million of Euros?

Just because information are a little known, Greenpeace has decided to spread the data on this type of fishing: not certain to stop completely the fishing (impossible thing obviously), but to spread the information on this type of commerce and fishing, to push the enterprises toward a great sustainability and to direct the consumers to more responsible purchases. Elaborating an interesting investigation on the sustainability of tuna cans sold in our Country, the group has sent a questionnaire to 14 firms that cover more than 80% of the national market. The criterions of evaluation are founded on Purchasing Policy, environmental sustainability, social sustainability, ways to promote a fair and sustainable tuna, Labelling and Monitoring of its policy. The final report and the "troublemakers" ranking is based on the results of the survey and is very interesting. The ranking is tuna MareAperto – STAR, one of the most common brands of canned tuna in Italy. The company did not provide precise information about the origin of the tuna in its products and, although it is for a turnover of industry leaders, STAR proves insufficient transparency towards consumers. Among the latest posts also stands tuna boats, the most sold in Italy after Riomare, with a market share of around 10%. The brand has shown very little transparency towards consumers: replied to the questionnaire of Greenpeace with considerable delay, providing detailed information and not responding to requests for clarification. Despite Nostromo is part of the Group bald, Spanish canning company among the largest in the world, does not use any sustainability criterion in the selection of its raw material. The first of the class is instead As do Mar: the company that produces it – General Preserved- adopted and put into practice precise criteria of sustainability in part of its production. Recognizing the impact of fishing on the marine environment, it has transformed its commitment to use selective fishing methods in concrete actions: about half the As do Mar brand tuna is fished with Skipjack sustainable methods. Second place for tuna brand Coop and third for the Mare Blu.

The first version of the ranking is, however, been drawn up in January 2010. Since then, some companies are beginning to move in the right direction. Tuna Callipo is passed in the Orange zone defined we're almost there, because he has developed a policy on sustainable supply. Also Esselunga began to adopt criteria to try to lessen the impact of fishing on the environment, after some positions, followed by Castiglione. Consorcio has opened to a dialogue, leaving the bottom of the standings. Progress also among the largest! Bolton, that under the brand name Riomare covers more than 30% of the market, formally undertook to put in place before the end of the year a policy of sustainability.


  1. 如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。.............................................