When I was little my Dad pointed to the side of a can of tuna and said ‘this means it’s dolphin friendly, make sure the fish your Mum buys is dolphin friendly’ Of course my Mum, who doesn’t see the point in unleaded petrol, energy saving light bulbs or votes for women, didn’t care but a lot of people do. Almost every can of tuna I care to look for in a supermarket says dolphin friendly.
That doesn’t make the tuna fish friendly though. As a vegetarian my concern is that it’s not very friendly for the tuna but beyond that the inhabitants of the seas are hardly doing a song or dance. Here are a handful of the problems:
- Tuna stocks are declining or depleted in some areas.
- Fishing tuna can result in a bycatch (like fishy collateral damage) of fish, turtles, marine mammals and birds.
- Especially when Fish Aggregation Devices are used to attract tuna to a particular location. They don’t just attract tuna.
- Some species of tuna are becoming endangered due to fishing like the Northern Bluefin (picture courtesy of Wikimedia)
Luckily this is one of those areas where you can make a difference. As a vegetarian my perfect solution would be to stop eating fish but if you aren’t going to go that far (let’s be optimistic and say yet) you can still cut down on your tuna intake. A tuna sandwich is going to be a bit shit without it but pasta bake won’t suffer. Should you still desire to buy a can check out this list that Greenpeace has come up with: Tuna retailers league table.