The Fight to Change the Tuna Industry Is a Fight for People and Planet

By Oliver Knowles, Greenpeace Global Tuna Campaign Leader

Earlier this month, Greenpeace put Thai Union Group on notice that we’re out to change the way it does business. Thai Union is the largest canned tuna company in the world, owners of Chicken of the Sea in the U.S., John West in the UK, Sealect in Thailand, Century Tuna in China, Mareblu in Italy, Petit Navire in France, and others throughout the world. We’re demanding that the company end its use of abused and overexploited human labor and dependency on destructive fishing.

The tuna industry has consistently failed people around the world on both sustainability and human rights. As it stands, the majority of canned tuna available to consumers is not safe for seafood industry workers or our oceans. Tuna industry giants like Thai Union shoulder much of the blame.

Thai Union and many of the other large tuna companies around the world use fishing methods that result in overfishing and high levels of unintentional bycatch, including sharks, turtles and seabirds. These methods, purse seining with fish aggregating devices (FADs) and longlining, are often associated with illegal fishing and violations of workers’ rights as well. Investigations continue to connect the global tuna industry to major human rights abuses, and Thai Union has seen its seafood supply chains linked to forced labor and labor abuse in recent New York Times and Associated Press investigations.

Thai Union is one of a small handful of seafood mega-corporations emptying our oceans of fish. It inflicts huge harm on the ocean environment and on too many of the poorly paid, routinely abused and mistreated fishing crew who do it for them.

Already yielding revenues of U.S. $3.44 billion, the company has stated publicly that it plans to —> Read More