West Dorset shoppers help Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall fight 'dirty tuna'

COMMITTED: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

COMMITTED: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

First published in News by

WEST Dorset shoppers have helped River Cottage chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the latest battle in his Fish Fight.

Hugh revisited his Fish Fight campaign on Channel 4 on Sunday, March 2, and investigated whether supermarkets were selling so-called ‘dirty’ tuna.

The campaign was first launched in 2010 with the aim of changing European Union Laws on fishing and the waste that the fishermen were throwing back into the sea because of these guidelines.

It also campaigned for sustainable tuna fishing and persuaded all the major UK supermarkets to change the way they source their tuna from netting to ‘pole and line’, as the netting technique they used also caught, and killed, sharks and turtles.

Greenpeace also joined the initiative and a petition to change fishing methods and EU laws gained more than 700,000 signatures.

Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “The Fish Fight and Greenpeace tuna campaign has been a huge success – our supermarkets and big tuna brands all told us they didn’t want their names on unsustainable tuna, but a number of them are finding new ways to keep ‘dirty’ tuna on the shelves.

He said that Tesco had originally made one of the biggest commitments of all to sell the most sustainable tuna.

“But as our new Fish Fight programme shows, they now stock a new brand called Oriental and Pacific, which is caught using methods that accidentally catch and kill endangered animals like turtles, rays and sharks, “ he added.

“There’s no information on Oriental and Pacific tins to tell shoppers how the tuna was caught.

Local supporters of the environmental group surveyed supermarket shelves in West Dorset to see if any were still selling the unsustainable tuna.

A Tesco spokesman said:“We moved much faster than many of our competitors to make sure our own-brand tuna is 100 per cent pole and line.

“We have also promised to use sustainable tuna in other products like pastas, sandwiches and salads.

“Many of our competitors continue to sell non-pole and line caught tuna.

“Customers have a great choice of sustainable tuna at Tesco.

“We will insist that Oriental and Pacific makes a similar commitment to other branded suppliers who are working towards a more sustainable fishing policy.”

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