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Thursday, June 4, 2015

04/06/2015: Is your tuna sandwich sustainable?

In the run up to World Oceans Day (Monday 8th June), the Marine Stewardship Council is asking sandwich lovers to ask: “How can I be sure this tuna sandwich is sustainable?”

Both Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have recently launched MSC labelled sustainable tuna sandwiches [1], helping shoppers to make a sustainable choice, and the MSC is calling on the public to persuade others to do the same.
 

More popular than bacon
Tuna is the UK’s most popular fishy sandwich filling, pushing even bacon into 7th place in the overall stakes and we Brits eat a staggering 21 million tuna sandwiches each year [2]. That amounts to 6250 tonnes of tuna [3]. But how was it caught?
    
https://www.msc.org/
Image: Lara604
Toby Middleton from the MSC explains: “We’ve heard a lot about supermarket’s canned tuna and seen some great progress with MSC certified sustainable pole and line-caught tuna in cans. It’s amazing that, after all of this public interest, only a tiny proportion of tuna sandwiches carry a credible independent proof of their sustainability. It’s as if we forget that this favourite sandwich filling comes from a fish. If there’s no indication on the pack then, frankly, your tuna could come from anywhere and you have no information what else was caught at the same time. It’s very easy to say ‘it’s sustainable,’ but can you prove it? Answering that question can be very complicated and that’s why we, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are using the MSC label.

“Making sustainable choices can have a huge, positive impact on the oceans. Change often starts with a question, a curious customer wanting to do the right thing. In the run-up to World Oceans Day 2015, we’re asking people to make a difference by asking the question:
‘How can I be sure this tuna sandwich is sustainable?’”

Where our tuna comes from
Tuna in the UK is sourced from all over the world with different sources often mixed together. With most cans and sandwiches, it is impossible to say for sure where it was caught. The most sustainable sources are the MSC certified Maldivian pole and line tuna fishery whose fishermen catch tuna using a pole and line technique and the PNA Western and Central Pacific tuna fishery. These fisheries have proven their sustainability and their MSC label means that the tuna can be traced back to the ocean.

Notes
[1] Sainsbury’s was the first supermarket to introduce MSC labelled tuna sandwiches in April 2014, Waitrose recently add the MSC label to their Maldivian tuna sandwiches in May 2015.

[2] All sandwich statistics supplied by the British Sandwich Association. Tuna is joint fifth most popular with prawns, both holding 6 percent of the market share.

[3] Putting 6250 tonnes of tuna into perspective: This compares with 53,914 tonnes of canned tuna sold in the UK: Seafish data). If you bought 6250 tonnes of tuna in standard 150g supermarket cans, that would involve 41.7 million cans of tuna. Stacked one on top of the other, the resulting 150km stack would comfortably reach from the bottom of the deepest ocean, the Mariana Trench (11 km deep) right to the edge of space (100km altitude)

 
The UK’s favourite sandwich fillings (Source: BSA)
Chicken 31 percent
Cheese 13 percent
Ham 11 percent
Egg 10 percent
Prawn 6 percent
Tuna 6 percent
Bacon 5 percent
Breakfast 5 percent
Ploughmans 3 percent
Salmon 3 percent
Beef 2 percent
Salad 2 percent


Visit the MSC website HERE.

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This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
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