Not Just Tuna: The truth behind the world’s biggest tuna company

The tuna industry is out of control.

It’s time to change the tuna industry.

The global tuna industry is out of control. It is emptying our oceans of fish, harming other marine life and exploiting workers in shocking ways.

Workers report being beaten, abused and even forced to work on ships for months or years at a time. Fishing vessels use methods that wreak havoc on marine life like sharks and sea turtles. Tuna is even being stored in the same containers as the dirty diesel the ships use, then sold onto consumers.

Korean longliner No. 208 Dongwon is seen hauling tuna in the central Pacific Ocean. 26 Aug, 2015 © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

Though the reality of the industry is clear, the world’s largest canned tuna company – Thai Union Group – is looking the other way. But we know from hard-hitting media exposés to our own investigative research that Thai Union Group is seriously implicated in horrendous human rights and environmental abuses.

Thai Union Group has launched a new logo and PR campaign – “One Future” – to convince all of us that its reputation and work practices are beyond question. But there is no future for tuna and for many who are forced to work in the industry if Thai Union Goup does not clean up its act.

We need more than a slick PR campaign and new logo. That’s why we contacted Thai Union Group last Friday to say that we are launching a global campaign demanding that it address environmental and labour abuse in its supply chain and that we’ll expose its brands – from Sealect in Thailand, to Chicken of the Sea in the United States, to John West in the UK and Petit Navire in France – so consumers know what they are buying.

We also wrote to Thai Union Group’s shareholders and other institutional investors warning them of the financial risks associated with these destructive and harmful practices.

No response yet.

Thai Union Group needs to make some dramatic changes. But for that to happen, the company’s management has to feel pressure from people all over the world.

Thai Union Group can become the world’s leader in providing seafood that is sustainably and ethically sourced. Thai Union Group’s size, reach and purchasing power mean the company has both a huge responsibility and is uniquely positioned to drive much needed change in global tuna fisheries.

Greenpeace has already made progress with leading brands and retailers in major markets, including the UK and Australia – getting them to clean up their tuna supply chains. Now we are up against the world’s largest tuna corporation and its brands, everywhere. It’s going to take all of us. But when we change Thai Union Group, we will start changing the entire tuna industry.

Join this new global campaign and tell Thai Union Group it’s time to change.

Graham Forbes is the Global Seafood Markets Project Leader at Greenpeace USA.

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