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Sustainable fishing victory for Greenpeace

Petit Navire, the leading producer of tinned tuna in France, will be affected by the landmark reforms 

Greenpeace has succeeded in pressurising Thai Union, the parent company of Petit Navire, to reform its fishing practices. The reforms cover both fishing methods and labour abuse, and should be implemented by 2020.

“Thai Union Group PCL has committed to measures that will tackle illegal fishing and overfishing, as well as improve the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the company’s supply chains,” Greenpeace said in a statement.

140,000 French people wrote to the CEO of Petit Navire demanding reforms, and just one year ago, the Petit Navire plant in Douarnenez in Brittany was blocked by Greenpeace activists holding signs saying "Small ship, big carnage" next to drawings of bleeding sharks.

Thai Union uses a fish aggregating device (FAD), an object held to the ocean floor that attracts fish, particularly tuna, en masse. The devices lead to overfishing and attract ‘bycatch’, often endangered species such as turtles and sharks that are maimed and then thrown back into the water. 

According to Greenpeace, the reforms will “reduce the number of FADs used globally in Thai Union’s supply chains by an average of 50% by 2020, while doubling the amount of verifiable FAD-free fish available in markets globally in the same period”.

The reforms are aimed to “shift significant portions of longline caught tuna to pole and line or troll-caught tuna by 2020 and implement strong requirements in place to help reduce bycatch,” and to “ensure workers at sea are being treated humanely and fairly”.

There should also be a move to full digital traceability, allowing people to track their tuna back to the vessel it was caught on and identify the fishing method used.

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