Sustainable fish procurement and sales are priorities for Unico.
To ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from this crucial food source and that current impacts on the fisheries do not harm the health of the stocks, we believe that wild tuna must be caught and managed in a certain way.
Our objective is to only purchase goods from fisheries that adhere to the recommendations of the ISSF, a science-based organization funded by WWF and dedicated to protecting the long-term health and sustainability of the world’s tuna populations (International Sustainable Seafood Foundation).
To this aim, Unico is dedicated to sourcing all of its canned tuna from vendors that have vowed to follow the recommendations and policies of the ISSF program and are founders, partners, or supporters of the ISSF program.
From capture to can, all tuna products sold under the Unico trademark must be able to be tracked.
The Four to Avoid and the Best Canned Tunas Available
There are many factors that set tuna species apart from the competition, including mercury content and sustainable fishing methods.
Each item Eat This, Not That! features has undergone independent testing and is backed by our readers.
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When you need a quick lunch or dinner, you may rely on canned or jarred tuna from your cupboard. However, the quality of products on the market varies greatly. Before stocking up on tuna, there are many factors to take into account, including sustainability, nutrition, and health.
Making better informed decisions about canned fish can be started by consulting resources like the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Site or Greenpeace’s canned tuna report, which assesses 20 well-known companies for their sustainability as well as ethical and fair trade policies.
There are a few main commercial types of tuna used in canning: albacore tuna, which is frequently harvested in the Pacific and is frequently sold as “white tuna meat” (although it can be caught in the Atlantic). Tuna marketed as “light” is skipjack. The western and central Pacific oceans are where the majority of the Pacific skipjack tuna is found. Skipjack and yellowfin tuna can be combined to make light tuna in cans.
It’s quite irritating since many tuna brands appear to have decent nutrition at first appearance, and the verbiage on their websites gives the impression that they are participating in ethical fishing and environmental policies. However, a brief check of news stories reveals the opposite, and regrettably, many popular tuna brands aren’t taking the necessary steps to be responsible.
According to Greenpeace Canada, an analysis of 14 main tuna fish brands available in the nation shows that the majority of them are produced using destructive fishing methods.
Only two brands, Wild Planet Foods and Raincoast Trading, received a passing grade in the environmental organization’s research because they employ more selective fishing gear, support more locally owned businesses, and offer consumers with more comprehensible labeling.
Every grocery chain in Canada carries canned tuna, but if tuna procurement doesn’t improve, this might change.
Greenpeace seas activist Sarah King
Third-placed Ocean Fisheries was followed on the ranking list by a number of grocery store house brand tuna products.
The top-selling brand Clover Leaf, which sells the most canned seafood in Canada, was ranked 11th and didn’t participate in the survey.
Unico placed last because it did not respond to Greenpeace’s questionnaire and had no publicly available data indicating any kind of policy or commitment to sustainability, according to the report’s authors.
According to Greenpeace, overfishing and harvesting methods that endanger other marine life, such as turtles, sharks, and seabirds, are to blame for the declining tuna populations.
The group stated that it wants grocery chains and canning seafood companies to only use tuna from legal, sustainable sources and to forego harmful and illegal fisheries.
Greenpeace oceans campaigner Sarah King stated in a statement that “canned tuna is a mainstay in many Canadian homes and is found in every supermarket chain, but that could change if tuna sourcing doesn’t shift.”
Global fish consumption reached historic levels in 2008, according to a report released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Monday. This was mostly due to the expanding fish farming sector. The report did note, however, that many fisheries, including the majority of tuna stocks, are still having trouble as a result of overfishing.
Major Thai corporations have resumed planning after the unrest the military takeover brought. One of the most significant and open to the global markets of them is Thai Union Frozen Products.
This organization is a titan in the fishing sector and the owner of Mareblu, a tuna product brand leader in Italy that is also well-known and admired internationally. According to a “Financial Times” story, the company is seeking other takeovers on Western markets where it wants to further strengthen its presence. Despite owning Mareblu, Thai Union, a company that is barely known in Italy, is already a titan in the fishing sector, with sales over 3 billion euros and profits close to 80 million euros.
Is tuna from Unico healthy?
Introducing Solid Light Tuna in Olive Oil from Unico. Because of its light, flaky texture, our tuna is perfect for putting in your favorite pasta dish, casserole, salad, or sandwich. The options are virtually unlimited! In addition to being high in protein, tuna provides a large source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with lowered blood pressure and better heart health. Each can has an easy-open top and is supplied in a 3 x 80g sleeve for your convenience.
From where does Costco obtain its tuna?
You may now eat cheaply and responsibly, achieving the best of both worlds.
You may enjoy both affordable and environmentally friendly food at the same time. The king of bulk purchases, Costco, stated this week that its Kirkland brand of skipjack tuna will not be caught using the Fish Aggregating Devices that kill numerous sharks, turtles, rays, and other marine species. Costco made the announcement that they will no longer be purchasing skipjack tuna from Chicken of the Sea.
The icing on the cake?
One of the most economical tuna cans on the market will be Costco’s brand of skipjack.
When buying canned tuna in our grocery shops, consumers are accustomed to the big three brands: Bumble Bee, Starkist, and Chicken of the Sea. Sadly, all three of these businesses rely on needlessly harmful methods. Another illustration that there is a better way and that businesses are responding to customers who desire products with responsibly produced materials is the recent action by Costco.
However, Costco has only partially resolved its tuna issue. Albacore tuna from Costco’s line is still provided by Bumble Bee; it is caught using traditional longlines, a destructive fishing method that kills far more than simply tuna. We anticipate seeing Costco capitalize on this momentum and track down a vendor ready to supply a responsible albacore product.
Is there any tuna in cans produced in the USA?
In 2005, six American Pole & Line fishing families in San Diego, California, founded American Tuna. The goal of American Tuna is to offer clients high-quality canned albacore tuna that may be purchased straight from the source. Premium albacore loins are hand-filleted and hand-packed for American tuna. The tuna steaks are manually sealed, pressure-cooked, and packed in fish oil before being placed in the can. Only premium albacore in its own natural fish oil, with no additional oil, water, soy, or other fish.
Only MSC-certified sustainable pole and line albacore is purchased and processed by American Tuna from the American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA). All of the vessels that make up AAFA are certified in the United States. The AAFA and these fishermen adhere to strict quality standards and regulations, producing the best whole round albacore available anywhere in the world. Every year, traceability back to the harvest vessel is audited, allowing any client to see the boat and the fishermen who caught the albacore they bought.
Every single piece of Albacore tuna we process is used by American Tuna. The premium slices of the albacore were hand-fileted for canning, and the remaining portion of the round is now used as bait by both crab and eel fishermen.
Which tuna is the healthiest to eat?
Even though tuna is highly nutrient-dense and full of protein, good fats, and vitamins, it shouldn’t be ingested every day.
Adults should consume 3-5 ounces (85-140 grams) of fish twice a week to receive adequate omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy nutrients, according to the FDA (10).
However, studies suggest that routinely consuming fish with a mercury content more than 0.3 ppm may raise blood mercury levels and cause health problems. Most tuna species weigh more than this (1, 11).
As a result, most adults should consume tuna in moderation and think about going with another fish that has a low mercury content.
When purchasing tuna, choose skipjack or canned light kinds over albacore or bigeye because they do not contain as much mercury.
As part of the suggested 2-3 servings of fish per week, you can eat skipjack and canned light tuna along with other low-mercury species including cod, crab, salmon, and scallops (10).
Eat albacore or yellowfin tuna no more frequently than once a week. Avoid bigeye tuna as much as you can (10).
You can consume skipjack and canned light tuna as parts of a balanced diet because they contain relatively little mercury. Bigeye, yellowfin, and albacore tuna should be consumed in moderation or avoided due to their high mercury content.
What kind of tuna is the healthiest to purchase?
Mercury is released into the atmosphere through pollution, where it gathers in lakes and oceans and then ends up in fish. While all fish contain trace quantities of mercury, larger species like tuna tend to accumulate more of it. As a result, the more tuna we consume, the more mercury may accumulate in our bodies as well.
Health professionals and scientists have long argued over how much or whether it is even healthy to eat canned tuna, especially for children and pregnant women. A developing brain can be harmed by excessive mercury.
The FDA and EPA continued to recommend eating fish, particularly canned tuna, at least twice a week as a rich source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals in its guidelines published in January. (The united suggestions received harsh criticism and remain a contentious topic.)
According to the FDA and EPA, canned light tuna is the preferable option because it contains less mercury. White and yellowfin tuna in cans have greater mercury levels but are still safe to eat. Although bigeye tuna should never be eaten, canned tuna is never made from that species.
The federal recommendations also recommend eating a variety of fish rather than only canned tuna.