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How Australians got John West to change its tuna

by Greenpeace on 4 Dec 2012
26th October 2012, Melbourne. Two ’sharks’ pose beneath a Greenpeace Billboard reading "John West Killer Deal". The Billboard is near the Simplot Headquarters, owners of John West Australia. ©Greenpeace Greenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/
It took bike-riding sharks, spoof slasher videos, giant tuna cans on roofs and 20,000 of you taking action, but we’ve had a breakthrough. After six weeks of sustained action (and three years of conversation), John West has agreed to end destructive fishing methods that needlessly kill sharks, rays, baby tuna and turtles.

Just six weeks after the launch of Greenpeace’s ‘Reject John West’ campaign, John West has pledged to stop using destructive fishing methods that needlessly kill sharks, rays, baby tuna and turtles.

'In six weeks 20,000 Australians have demanded John West respect fisheries science and change their tuna,' said Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle.

'By committing to genuine sustainable fishing, they have done exactly that. This is a win for consumers and a win for the oceans. It shows that when Australians take action together, we can bring about real change.' We take a look back at the actions that led to the success of the campaign.

This is a huge win for our oceans and it’s down to your pressure. Once again, it shows that when we take action together, we can make change happen.'

And here it is from the company in black and white 'By 2015 John West will end sourcing tuna from fisheries using methods that current science shows to be unsustainable such as the use of FAD-associated purse seine caught tuna and will only sell tuna caught using environmentally responsible methods.'

John West now joins major Australian brands Greenseas, Safcol and Sirena in their commitment to responsible fishing. Greenpeace’s global tuna campaign has seen all brands and retailers in the UK, Safeway US and brands in the EU rule out the use of FADs.

This is the second time this year the Australian community has spoken out against indiscriminate and unsustainable fishing. Three months ago the community told the super trawler, Margiris, where to put its fishing nets and now the community has made it clear John West has got to shape up.

Two great victories for the ocean and a triumph for the power of the Australian community.

The win comes at a critical time. This week, global authorities are meeting in Manila to set the rules for tuna fishing in the Pacific – where 60% of the world’s tuna is caught. Fish Aggregating Devices and the Pacific Commons are firmly on the agenda, so John West’s decision to implement a ban and rule out fishing in the Commons sends a powerful message at a key moment.

This news demonstrates the tide is turning for responsible seafood with all major brands now agreeing to end the use of FADs, but the supermarket giants' own brands, like Coles Smart Buy and Woolworths Select are way behind.

Tell Coles and Woolies that they need to change their tuna too.

Petition at https://www.greenpeace.org.au/action/?cid=17&src=GP3
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