Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) released a statement today on the relative ecological sustainability of alternative sources of canned tuna. The statement briefs tuna buyers on the main environmental issues associated with the various fishing methods employed to supply tuna for canning. The statement summarizes advice on tuna product procurement that SFP provides to its corporate partners. SFP recommends sourcing skipjack and yellowfin tuna for canning from fisheries in the following order, from lowest to highest risk of adverse ecological effects: 

  1. Pole-and-line fisheries.
  2. Purse seine unassociated sets (sets made on free-swimming schools of tuna).
  3. Purse seine sets on floating objects, including anchored fish aggregating devices (aFADs), artificial drifting fish aggregating devices (dFADs), and natural objects.

 SFP further recommends:

  • Preferentially sourcing skipjack and yellowfin tuna from regions where stocks affected by purse seine fishing mortality are not overfished and where overfishing is not occurring
  • Actively avoiding purchasing IUU-caught product and implementing a formal program for periodic random audits
  • Preferentially sourcing from fisheries where the product can be traced to the vessel