Committed to Sustainable Tuna
When choosing Sealord branded tuna you can be confident you’re buying from a truly sustainable source. Sealord’s Sustainable and Equitable Tuna Procurement Policy outlines our commitment to source tuna only from
fishery’s that have abundant stocks, that offer traceability to the vessel and fishing region and have a non-tuna bycatch rate below 1% of catch. This policy is fully communicated and enforced with our partners.
We Only Fish Healthy Stocks
Sealord Tuna is Skipjack Tuna caught in the Western Central Pacific Ocean. Skipjack is the most abundant of all the major commercial tuna species, taking only four years to reach maturity. As part of our policy Sealord regularly assess the health of the fishery drawing on scientific data from ISSF (International Seafood Sustainability Foundation) to ensure there is no overfishing now or in the future.
Minimal Environmental Impact
Our Skipjack Tuna is caught using Purse Seine Nets. When a school of tuna is sighted the vessel encircles the school and traps them with a net. Purse Seine fishing is one of most efficient methods to catch tuna and can result in minimal bycatch compared with other fishing methods. Approximately 63% of Tuna caught globally each year is from this method*.
We don’t support increase in pole and line fisheries which result in depletion of coastal small pelagics that support artisanal food fishers.
Focused on Reducing Bycatch
In January 2013 we were the first in New Zealand to sign WWF’s Western Central Pacific Tuna Conservation Pledge. In May 2013, we announced we would no longer source tuna that had been caught with the use of Fish Aggregating Devices in order to meet our target of reducing non-tuna bycatch to below 1%.
FADs are floating objects that attract fish used by tuna fishermen. The method has bycatch levels in the Western Pacific of around 1.7% of catch, which is low compared to other methods but still higher than the rate for tuna caught without this equipment.
Improvements such as non-entangling FADs that reduce bycatch of sharks are being phased in, and over time, it is likely FAD-caught tuna will have bycatch below 1%. But until then, we will continue to source tuna caught on free school sets, without FADs.
We will continue to ensure that there is specific data about bycatch, so that we can supply our tuna from the best performing fisheries, regardless of the method of fishing, and with the lowest overall environmental impacts.
Full traceability of supply
We take our commitment to sourcing FAD free Tuna very seriously and as such have full traceability back to the vessel that caught the fish. For each catch, we are able to determine when and how it was caught, the
region in the Western Pacific where it was caught as well as where and when it was canned. Observers are regularly on board the vessels that catch Sealord tuna to ensure fishers are adhering to the required standards.
Sealord is committed to working only with suppliers and partners who recognise and mirror our commitments to our own employees. We are confident our suppliers take ethical labour practises seriously, they understand it’s the right thing to do and that businesses such as Sealord, and our customers, expect this.
We have two main suppliers – CMC and Pataya. CMC has achieved SA 8000 International Standards, considered the highest level of social and ethical accountability standards.
Our second main supplier, Pataya is a signatory to the Ethical Labour Practice Code of Conduct of the TTIA (Thai Tuna Industry Association). All members of TTIA are required to have thorough and comprehensive third party audits of their processing facilities and supply chain to ensure full compliance with local and international laws and regulations regarding social and ethical standards. The members of TTIA remain committed to providing a safe and respectful workplace for all employees.
All Tuna is Dolphin Safe
Sealord tuna carries the Dolphin Friendly logo as it meets the dolphin-safe requirements of the Earth Island Institute.
Expert Independent Guidance
Sealord use a number of independent sources to gather research on the latest developments regarding sustainable fishing practices. In particular we source information from ISSF (International Seafood Sustainability Foundation) to get updates on the health of fish stocks in a region and understand the latest research findings to reduce bycatch and the impact on the marine environment. Our suppliers are all members of the ISSF which is a global coalition of scientists and industry experts focused on promoting science based initiatives for the long term conservation of tuna. To learn more about their research click here.
In 2013 Sealord was the first New Zealand Company to sign WWF’s Tuna Conservation Pledge and this pledge has helped to inform our sustainability policy in regards to tuna. You can read more about this and other commitments Sealord has made through the pledge here.