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Bolton: FAD Free Implementation Not Economically Feasible Now

European tuna giant Bolton Alimentari says there are not enough fishing vessels or FAD-free certifications to currently adopt pole and line and FAD-free fishing methods. While the company acknowledges these methods are the most sustainable, it says it would not be economically feasible right now to implement them.
“As things presently stand, there are not yet the sufficient means or volumes to make the transition to this type of tuna fishing viable in the short term.”
Bolton issued a statement to clarify the confusion surrounding its Jan. 18 press release that announced its commitment to sustainability. It is a response to Greenpeace member Oliver Knowles, who wrote a blogpost on Jan. 26 and questioned the company’s “highly ambiguous language.”
In the Jan. 18 press release, Bolton declared it was “working to achieve 100% of sustainable tuna by 2017, as a natural evolution of the objective of 45% by 2013.” Back in 2011, Bolton committed to source 45% of its tinned tuna from pole and line or FAD-free fisheries by 2013.
Knowles argued, “The release appears designed to both get Greenpeace off the company’s back and to convince customers that it is working to achieve maximum sustainability in its tuna supply chain.” He believed the commitment was misleading and “a carefully crafted sentence.”
“Bolton is clearly trying to give the impression that the 100% is also going to be pole and line or FAD-free,” wrote Knowles. 
Bolton says it is “giving preference” to these methods and free school fishing. It will also only use other fishing methods once they have been scientifically proven to be sustainable.
“This means that if, by 2017, we do not have the necessary evidence certifying the sustainability of other fishing methods, in order to guarantee achievement of our 100% objective, we will only source our tuna from suppliers using pole and line, FAD-free and free school methods.”
Bolton’s commitment to the environment follows similar promises made last year by leading UK tuna brands Princes and John West. In March, Princes said it aims to phase out its use of FADs by 2014, while John West guaranteed this past summer to source all of its UK sales of tuna using FAD-free methods by 2016. These plans are certainly the first step towards a greener future, but for many companies still seem to be hesitant to make the second step to switch to sustainable fishing methods.
Beginning of January 2012 the PNA free school skipjack tuna fisheries was certified by the MSC as being sustainable after an extensive scientific review of the stock and the fishing method.