More grocers pledge to sell responsibly caught canned tuna

Americans really, really love canned tuna fish.

According to the National Fisheries Institute, Americans expended more than 700 million pounds of canned tuna in 2015. That equates to 2.2 pounds per person annually.

The food remains among the top three seafood items Americans ingest each year– and its held that ranking for more than 10 years.

But now retailers are saying that there’s something fairly fishy going on in the canned tuna the enterprises and, as is the trend with many other meat, there’s been a regenerated focus on how fishing operations is caught and processed– and where it comes from.


To that result, on Whole Foods Market recently announced that by next January, all of the canned tuna sold in stores or used in its prepared meat departments will be sourced only from fishers that exclusively use pole-and-line, troll or hand line catch methods. These methods theoretically eradicate the question of bycatch or the unintentional harvest of other fish, fowls or mammals. With Whole Foods’ protocols in place, their fisherman is likely to be catching tuna separately to prevent overfishing.

The chains new plan also mandates canned tuna products to originate from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council( MSC) or be sourced from fisheries rated green( best option) or yellow-bellied( good alternative) by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Safina Center.

And the supermarket has instituted a traceability requirement, too.

“There are a lot of points in the render chain where tuna changes hands. We want to map it from catch to can. That’s critical, ” Carrie Brownstein, the global seafood quality standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market, told NPR.

Buts it not just Whole Foods thats shaking things up in the canned food aisle.

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