The labels on the many tuna brands can be perplexing. Which type of tuna is the least harmful to marine life? And given worries about mercury, is tuna even safe to eat in the first place?
There are undoubtedly tuna businesses that focus on dolphin-safe catch methods. The Tuna Shopping Guide, published by Greenpeace, rates 20 brands. The top three products on the list are Wild Planet, American Tuna, and Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value. Wild Planet earned the top rank because to its sustainable fishing methods, including as pole-and-line and trolling, which lessen the quantity of accidentally caught marine life, or bycatch. Additionally, Wild Planet deserves praise for pledging to refrain from fishing in potential high-seas ocean sanctuaries.
Popular brands like StarKist, Bumble Bee, and Chicken of the Sea are among the worst, with StarKist finishing last due to its lack of transparency regarding the origins of its tuna and its use of destructive fisheries that result in large amounts of bycatch. StarKist received criticism from Greenpeace for its ambiguous corporate responsibility declarations. Recently, Chicken of the Sea vowed to straighten up so that it might move up from its lower position.
You have every reason to be concerned about mercury poisoning. Almost all fish and shellfish currently have trace quantities of mercury in them, a toxic substance that can harm the brain and nervous system. Seafood consumption should be restricted for infants, women who are nursing, and those who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. According to the EPA, pregnant and breastfeeding women are allowed to eat up to three four-ounce cans of light tuna (including skipjack) or one four-ounce can of yellowfin, albacore, or white tuna each week from its list of Best Choices. Children are allowed one or two weekly portions of two ounces.
Customers claim that the “Dolphin Safe” tuna claim is untrue, reminding companies not to take on more than they can chew.
The class action, which was recently filed on behalf of consumers, claims that StarKist, the manufacturer of canned tuna, deceived consumers by claiming that their tuna products were “100% dolphin-safe” and “sustainable.” StarKist made an unsuccessful attempt to have the case dismissed. The lawsuit demands four years of consumer refunds on the grounds that StarKist’s advertising violated consumer protection laws in six states.
Is StarKist tuna truly safe for dolphins?
According to Faist, StarKist “remains committed to this commitment and requires verification that all of the tuna we buy is dolphin-safe.” “StarKist tuna, as well as all of our branded and private label products, are covered by our dolphin-safe policy. StarKist tuna is tagged with a special ‘Dolphin-Safe’ badge.”
Is catch-and-release tuna safe for dolphins?
Get your protein on easily by purchasing this sustainably caught albacore solid white tuna in water from Good & GatherTM. Ideal for dinner, lunch, or a fast snack in between. This tuna was caught by long line, in the wild, and without endangering dolphins. This tuna is simple to prepare and even simpler to preserve. You can use it to make sandwiches, top salads, or simply eat it with crackers for a quick snack.
Each item bearing the Good & GatherTM brand starts with premium ingredients that provide delicious results, making it simpler for you and your family to eat healthfully every day. If you don’t absolutely adore every meal, we’ll refund your money.
Products that either have an unqualified independent third-party certification on the packaging, or an unqualified marketing claim that the completed product is made from seafood that was sourced sustainably.
Dolphins are not harmed by Chicken of the Sea tuna.
Three major tuna brands are currently the target of a class action lawsuit alleging that they misrepresented their tuna’s origins as being “dolphin safe.” One of those brands is Chicken of the Sea.
The Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act is allegedly broken by Chicken of the Sea’s tuna fishing practices, which are hazardous to dolphins and other marine life. A product cannot be marketed as “dolphin safe” if it contains tuna that was obtained in a way that is harmful to dolphins, according to a regulation passed in 1990. Senses well.
The lawsuit also asserts that the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) membership and Marine Stewardship Council certification that Chicken of the Sea advertises are both false advertising because these groups are not independent and do not actually support outlawing or restricting unsustainable fishing methods.
The lawsuit refers to Chicken of the Sea’s website, where the business acknowledges using purse seine nets and long lines rather than individual poles and lines to collect tuna. Purse seining is the process of encircling a school of tuna using a net to rapidly and effectively catch them (as depicted by Chicken of the Sea here). The suit alleges that because “tuna schools… typically cluster with dolphin schools,” this practice leads in a high number of dolphins being accidentally trapped in the net along with the tuna.
Fisheries are permitted to utilize purse seining as part of their program by the Marine Stewardship Council, whose logo Chicken of the Sea appears on their products.
The following is what Chicken of the Sea states about its dolphin-safe policy in its website’s FAQ section:
The policy that was put in place in April 1990 to guarantee dolphin safety is still firmly adhered to by Chicken of the Sea. This policy guarantees that Chicken of the Sea won’t buy tuna from boats that net fish near dolphins, and it stipulates that all tuna suppliers must provide confirmation of dolphin-safe fishing methods.
Despite this assertion, Greenpeace’s Tuna Guide places Chicken of the Sea quite low. According to the guide, despite the fact that Chicken of the Sea “says it’s dedicated to sustainable products, it doesn’t provide a single one in the U.S.,” the company “sources its tuna from destructive fishing practices that unnecessarily kill vulnerable marine species.”
Is dolphins safe to eat Clover Leaf tuna?
The labels on all of Clover Leaf’s tuna products now available on the market proudly display the “dolphin friendly” emblem.
The terms “Dolphin Safe” and “Dolphin Friendly Safe” are interchangeable and denote the following:
- There are no drift nets utilized.
- Over the course of a fishing excursion, no purse seine sets are made on dolphins.
- During purse seine fishing sets, there were no dolphin fatalities or major injuries.
Why are dolphins safe listed on tuna cans?
Label indicating adherence to rules or regulations when tuna fishing for canning
To indicate compliance with regulations or procedures intended to reduce dolphin fatalities during the capture of tuna for canning, dolphin-safe labels are used.
Certain labels have more stringent guidelines than others. The United States is where dolphin-safe tuna labeling first appeared. Although the terms “Dolphin Safe” and “Dolphin Friendly” are frequently used in Europe and have the same meaning, there are different criteria in Latin America. Since their debut, the labels have drawn more and more criticism, especially from American sustainability organizations, but this is because Dolphin Safe was never intended to be a sign of tuna sustainability. According to Greenpeace’s 2017 Shopping Guide, many U.S. brands bearing the dolphin safe designation are among the least ocean-friendly.
While the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act, a section of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act, gives the Dolphin Safe label and its standards legal standing in the US, tuna companies all over the world voluntarily abide by the standards, which are overseen by the non-governmental Earth Island Institute, based in Berkeley, California. The alternative Dolphin Safe label, which mandates complete coverage by unbiased observers on boats and lowers the overall mortality of dolphins in the water, has been pushed by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. Most of Latin America uses this classification.
As stated by the U.S. Because no universal nor independent verification exists, the dolphin safe labels from Consumers Union, Earth Island, and the United States do not ensure that dolphins are not harmed throughout the fishing process. Even yet, unexpected inspections and observations may be made of tuna fishing vessels and canneries that are compliant with any of the numerous U.S. labeling requirements. While Earth Island Institute (EII), an independent environmental organization, verifies the standards are met by more than 700 tuna companies outside the U.S. through inspections of canneries, storage facilities, and audits of fishing logs, companies for US import face strict charges of fraud for any violation of the label standards. The organizations it validates give money to Earth Island Institute, and EII has never had an outside scientific audit of its labeling program, which is a best practice for eco-labels. As more purse snare tuna boats operate in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, international observers are becoming an integral element of the Dolphin Safe verification process.
Is skipjack tuna good for dolphins?
When a boycott forced adjustments in fishing methods to prevent catching dolphins, who frequently swim alongside yellowfin tuna, tuna fishing garnered a lot of media attention in the 1990s. They achieved this by incorporating special gates that allowed dolphins to escape into the nets.
You can watch out for the “dolphin safe” logo on tuna tins at the grocery store to prevent the sale of tuna that may be sourced from dolphin catching. Be cautious though, as this does not imply that sustainable fishing methods are being used.
Due to their lack of association with dolphins, skipjack tuna are more likely to be dolphin-safe. Other marine animals including sharks, rays, and turtles are not, however, protected by the dolphin safe certification. The purse seine method is used to catch between 60 and 70 percent of the tuna. Typically, they are attracted by fish aggregation devices (FADS), floating objects under which tuna gather and are encircled by the net in the manner of a giant drawstring bag or purse. In fact, this strategy produces 100,000 tonnes of undesired bycatch each year, or 10% of the total catch. Sharks, many of which are endangered species, make up some of the bycatch. Their fins are removed in order to prepare shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy. This strategy can be specifically targeted to a school of one adult species without the use of FADS and minimizes bycatch.
A technique used to catch more expensive varieties of tuna is longline fishing. This technique entails casting out fishing lines up to 100 km long, to which up to 1,000 shorter lines with baited hooks are connected. This nevertheless results in the indiscriminate killing of unintended marine life, including turtles (of whom 6 of 7 species are designated threatened), who are drawn in by the bait’s jellyfish appearance. The hooks can also entangle abatrosses and other seabirds. This kills between 500,000 and 1.4 million sharks annually, according to estimates.
The pole and line technique and “trolling,” in which baited lines are carried through the water behind a boat, are regarded as the most practical ways to fish since they focus on adult fish, significantly reduce bycatch, and allow undesirable catches to be released back into the ocean alive. In smaller fisheries, this is frequently the method of choice.
Does dolphin appear in canned tuna?
A food engineering student at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) conducted research that revealed indications of dolphin meat in tuna cans made in Mexico.
With guidance from UNAM Secretary General Jose Francisco Montiel Sosa, food engineering student Karla Vanessa Hernandez Herbert analyzed 15 tuna cans that were purchased close the university. Three of those 15 cans were discovered to have dolphin DNA evidence, proving the presence of dolphin meat.
Although consuming dolphin does not pose a health concern, Hernandez stated in a press release from UNAM that “the fraudulent addition of chemicals that are not legitimate and the deceit of the consumer are unacceptable.”
The polymerase chain reaction, which was also used by Fast Fish ID, was employed for DNA identification (PCR). The process can be used to make several copies of particular DNA strands, making it simpler to distinguish between different species.
The goal of the investigation was to ascertain whether any species other than the one listed on the can were present in the canned tuna.
The news comes two years after the World Trade Organization resolved a decade-long dispute between the United States and Mexico over dolphin-safe labelling. Beginning on October 24, 2008, the conflict centered on Mexico’s contention that the American requirements for identifying tuna as dolphin-safe improperly discriminated against Mexico. The method of catching tuna in Mexico known as “fishing on dolphins,” in which boats follow dolphins swimming with tuna, was at dispute.
In the end, the WTO sided with the United States, upholding the labeling requirements for dolphin-safe products and enabling Mexican tuna to be excluded.
The development also follows other continuing disputes between Mexico and the United States over seafood commerce. 2018 saw the U.S. Due to potential impact to the critically endangered vaquita, the National Marine Fisheries Service has placed import restrictions on a variety of fish taken in Mexico. A U.S. challenge to that restriction Later, President Donald Trump’s administration was overthrown, and early this year, the seafood ban was extended.
The study failed to name the brands of tested tuna, according to the Mexican daily Excelsior.
Even in 2018, under a different administration, Montiel Sosa told the journal, “The work’s purpose was not to denounce any brand as such, and of course, it was not the objective to point out at the national level that we were doing something illegal.”
Additionally, UNAM claimed to have created “many programs” that aim to investigate the caliber of products including coffee, hamburger meat, and Norwegian cod.