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Ever noticed that most tuna brands don't tell you which species is in the can? Greenpeace has over the weekend exposed the brands selling overfished tuna and employing problematic fishing practices, in a new guide to help navigate the shopping isles.
"Supermarkets are selling Australian consumers overfished tuna without our knowledge. As a result, many species are being driven to the brink of extinction," said Greenpeace CEO Linda Selvey in a statement on Saturday.
"Several species of tuna are in big trouble. Stocks of Northern and Southern Bluefin have collapsed and already Bigeye, Yellowfin and Albacore Tuna are declining."
And the most common method of fishing tuna - using large nets the size of several city blocks - catches around a kilo of unwanted marine animals for every 10 kg of tuna caught.
"Destructive tuna fishing practices also result in the widespread slaughter of hundreds of thousands of turtles and sharks," Selvey said.
"Since many brands fail to label their products, consumers are in the dark about what they are eating."
Greenpeace's new Canned Tuna Guide helps identify which supermarkets are selling overfished species and lists the brands conscious consumers should avoid. It ranks the brands in four key areas: how endangered the tuna species they use is, what their policy on illegal fishing is, their involvement in fair tuna trade with Pacific countries and their usage of destructive fishing practices.
Of the 10 listed brands, Sirena rated as the worst, failing to disclose what and how it fishes, while Greenseas was one of the better brands to buy.
Canned tuna is the biggest selling seafood product in Australia - worth more than $330 million for Australian supermarkets - and is a staple for many Australian families, but "most Australians would be horrified to know that they are eating threatened species," Selvey said.
"We have launched this guide to help people make an informed choice and to urge supermarkets to remove the worst, unlabelled brands from their shelves."