Latest news about ethical consumerism


John Worst – the worst for tinned tuna

Sep 9

Written by:
09/09/2008 10:10  RssIcon

Which is the most sustainable brand of tinned tuna?

The campaign to make tinned tuna ‘dolphin friendly’ was a success but now action is needed again to make tuna fishing more sustainable. Current tuna fishing methods are responsible for the large scale killing of species such as sharks and turtles as well as the over-fishing of tuna itself.


Greenpeace have produced a league table of tinned tuna retailers ranked according to various sustainability criteria. It found that John West, the biggest seller of tinned tuna in the UK, is the worst of the bunch. John West continues to buy tuna fished by highly destructive methods like purse seining (a net that encircles a particular area before being pulled together in a purse shape) which resulted in an 'accidental bycatch' of some 100,000 tonnes worldwide in 2005. And this despite the claim on John West’s website that they "only purchase fish which is caught with no harm to the marine environment.”

Top of the table is Sainsbury’s. All of Sainsbury's tinned tuna is now pole and line caught, making their own label the only brand surveyed that is entirely fished using sustainable methods.

Greenpeace is asking consumers to press for change in the UK tinned tuna trade by using the league table as a guide to choosing the tinned tuna that you buy, and steering clear of the brands that are sourcing tuna irresponsibly.

You can also help by emailing the CEO of John West's parent company, MW Brands, and telling him that it's time that John West stopped trashing the oceans for the tuna in their tins.

For more information, you can download a Greenpeace report, ‘Tinned Tuna’s Hidden Catch’.



3 comment(s) so far...

Re: John Worst – the worst for tinned tuna

I am not surprised about John West tuna. The quality is very poor as well. I am a Waitrose customer and time ago I noticed that they reduced their selection on offer and John West is now the only one on the shelves. I am definitely going to complain with Waitrose chain.

By Alessia C. on   04/10/2008 17:38

Re: John Worst – the worst for tinned tuna

I'm disgusted by the Greenpeace findings and will never buy any John West product again.

By Vicky on   19/10/2008 14:05

Re: John Worst – the worst for tinned tuna

I have been a Waitrose customer for many years because they are the most ethical Supermarket. Imagine my horror when I could find no Tuna products other than John West, one of the most unethical and destructive perpetrators of fishing procedures. I am a vegetarian but on a few occasions may purchase tuna for my cats/kittens (very occasionally). I have spoken to Waitrose and shown this literature and I am now pleased to confirm that they have reintroduced their own product back on the shelves. I propose to encourage them to discontinue any John West product.

By Maria Spain on   29/07/2009 15:23


Full News Archive


Ethical news archive going back to July 2009.

Read More