THE global seafood company Thai Union, which includes the John West tuna brand in its stable, has pledged to bring to an end fishing practices that could damage tuna and other fish stocks.
The company had come under pressure from Greenpeace to take action, and the environmental group has described the decision as ‘huge progress’.
Thai Union, the world’s largest tinned tuna company, said it was taking steps to make fish easier to trace from sea to plate, reduce fishing methods that harm wildlife, and strengthen labour standards.
Greenpeace and Thai Union have also agreed to meet every six months to assess progress and at the end of 2018, an independent third party will look at the situation.
Thiraphong Chansiri, chief executive of Thai Union, said: ‘Thai Union has fully embraced its role as a leader for positive change as one of the largest seafood companies in the world.
‘Thai Union looks forward to continuing to execute our SeaChange sustainability strategy, strengthened and enhanced by the joint agreement with Greenpeace and our shared vision for healthy seas now and for future generations.’
The news comes two years after Greenpeace accused John West of continuing to use harmful ‘fish aggregation devices’ to catch 98 per cent of its tuna, despite a sustainability pledge to consumers.
Greenpeace International’s executive director, Bunny McDiarmid, said: ‘This marks huge progress for our oceans and marine life, and for the rights of people working in the seafood industry.
‘If Thai Union implements these reforms, it will pressure other industry players to show the same level of ambition, and drive much needed change.’
Two years ago Thai Union bought the Norwegian seafood firm King Oscar and the French salmon producer Mer Alliance.