The dispute between Greenpeace and John West continues to gain momentum, with the environmental campaign group accusing the tuna company of “censorship” after it was forced to remove a video from YouTube.
The Greenpeace spoof ad, which according to the campaign group, showed edited raw and bloody footage of the fishing method used by John West incorporated into the latest John West television commercial.
But John West has complained that the spoof video is a breach of copyright and ordered Greenpeace to remove it.
“Today’s censorship proves that John West would rather cover up the fact that they needlessly kill threatened juvenile tuna, sharks, rays and even endangered sea turtles than live up to their sustainability rhetoric and update their fishing practices,” Greenpeace Ocean Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle said in a statement.
“Greenpeace is demanding John West commit to stop using ‘fish aggregating devices' (FADs).
”Fishing with FADs and giant nets is indiscriminate – at least 10 per cent of each haul is 'bycatch,' such as baby tuna, sharks and turtles.
“This rate is ten times higher than nets set without FADs.
“Australian brand Safcol has already switched to more sustainable fishing methods.
“Greenseas and Sirena have also pledged to stop using destructive FADs.
“The biggest brand John West, however, has refused,” Pelle said.
“Even John West UK and John West Germany has listened to its consumers and committed to tuna fished responsibly. Meanwhile John West Australia is denying the gruesome reality that they needlessly kill marine life for every can they produce.”
Pelle slammed John West’s primary advertising slogan, “John West picks the best,” saying it is misleading.
“Unfortunately for them, the John West myth is busted. John West don’t pick the best, they pick whatever is cheap even if it is at the cost of sharks, baby tuna and turtles,” he said.
This incident comes just two days after John West tuna owner Simplot responded to its negative listing on the Greenpeace canned tuna guide 2012, saying it “has been working towards improving the sustainability of John West’s products for many years.”
The annual list compiled by environmental campaign group Greenpeace ranks tuna brands according to their efforts to implement and maintain sustainable fishing practises.
This year it ranked John West towards the bottom of the list, saying “John West is the largest seller of tuna caught using destructive FADs [fish aggregating devices] in Australia.”
“It is having the most damaging impact on marine life so John West is the stand out culprit of Australia's tuna industry,” Greenpeace continued.
“It has a responsibility to do better."
What do you think about FAD's? Should fish companies be forced to comply with more sustainable fishing practises?