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Safeway Also To Conduct In-Depth Research On Pole & Line

In its announcement earlier this week that it would eliminate FAD caught tuna, its own label product range, Safeway also said  that in the future it will conduct in-depth research towards bringing to market economically viable, bio-regionally supported pole & line sourced tuna fish.

Safeway is to cooperate with the global tuna trader Tri-Marine International and FishWise, a California-based NGO specializing in seafood sustainability, to start the free school skipjack products under its own private label.

According to information published by Intrafish, the Safeway switch to free school skipjack will involve about 4.5 million cans, which comes down to about 45 20ft containers annually.  In order to fill these cans about 1,500 M/t of whole round skipjack tuna will be needed.  The annual catch of free school skipjack in the Western Central Pacific ocean is estimated to be somewhat over 300,000 M/T annually.

Recently in the Western Pacific ocean the PNA free school skipjack fisheries obtained MSC approval.

According Safeway still considerable work will need to be done in order to reliably verify that a tuna source is not using FADs. It will require new protocols and building partnerships with stakeholders in ocean ecology.

          Safeway Inc. was North America‘s first major grocery retailer to implement sourcing of “Dolphin Safe Tuna” in 1991.
          In the fifth edition of the Greenpeace retailer scorecard, which ranks the Top 20 grocery retailers on the sustainability of their seafood practices, Safeway was ranked number one, making it the most sustainable national grocery retailer in the U.S. for seafood. The scorecard was issued June 2011.  It is expected that the new 2012 scorecard will come out again soon.