It’s encouraging to see the elevated demand and consciousness for canned tuna that doesn’t include a excessive value to the environment and marine life. However I do know it may be complicated to know which canned tuna to decide on. So this submit is my easy information for the way to decide on sustainable canned tuna.

The excellent news is a lot of the canned tuna at common Australian grocery shops is taken into account comparatively accountable as of late.

Abstract: which canned tuna is finest?

Learn the canned tuna label. Select skipjack tuna that’s pole and line caught (no nets – finest) or no less than FAD*-free fishing strategies (acceptable). Eat much less Yellowfin and Albacore tuna. Don’t purchase bluefin and bigeye tuna or any tuna caught utilizing FADs with purse seine nets, gillnetting and longlining.

* FAD = Fishing Aggregating Gadget = as much as 7x unintended marine life casualties caught in nets = unacceptable!

Canned tuna

How to decide on sustainable canned tuna

Learn the label of the can to find out the kind of tuna and how the tuna was caught. There isn’t any regulated and standardised labelling system that reliably identifies sustainable canned tuna, so don’t depend on “responsibly sourced” stamps with out checking the small print!

What to search for on the can

Right here’s a abstract of what to search for on canned tuna labels to decide on responsibly. See sections under for additional explanations.

1. Finest out there

Species: skipjack tuna – most accountable possibility.

Fishing technique: Pole and line caught (no nets) – most accountable technique of fishing as a result of different marine life doesn’t get caught within the nets.

2. Acceptable

Fishing technique: FAD-free purse seine



  • Species: Bluefin and bigeye tuna – critically endangered

  • Fishing strategies: FADs with purse seine nets, gillnetting and longlining

⚠️ “Dolphin pleasant” stamp isn’t all the time an indicator of true sustainable practices. Which is unlucky as a result of it means it undermines the worth for manufacturers which are catching tuna

Finest (pole and line caught skipjack tuna)

Acceptable (FAD-free purse seine skipjack tuna)

Word: A few of these manufacturers even have yellowfin tuna merchandise which falls beneath the eat much less of class, so remember to test the label!

Eat much less

* Siera is yellowfin tuna although it’s pole and line caught so there’s a trade-off right here: threatened tuna species vs use of finest fishing technique.

Why the fishing technique issues

As a result of unethical fishing practices has a heavy value on different marine life.

The worst fishing technique is tuna that’s caught utilizing Fish Aggregation Gadget (FADs) with purse seine nets, gillnetting and longlining. FADs are a tool used to draw marine life (not simply tuna) then when sufficient have aggregated across the machine, they’re scooped up in large nets. Fishing strategies utilizing FADs trigger as much as 7 instances by-catch and killing of unintended goal, together with endangered species – fish, sharks, turtles.

⭐️ The perfect fishing technique is pole-and-line caught tuna the place every fish is caught individually utilizing a fishing rod so there may be little threat that different marine life is by accident caught.

✔️The FAD-free purse seine is the most typical tuna catching technique for canned tuna at the moment bought on the giant chain Australian grocery shops. That is thought-about a extra accountable type of tuna fishing than FAD-free purse seine internet fishing.

FAD free canned tuna
All store-brand canned tuna I discovered in my native space all use FAD free fishing strategies, which is nice to see (Woolworths, Coles and Aldi, Australia).

Why the tuna species issues

There are numerous forms of tuna and so selecting a species of tuna that’s being fished at a price that isn’t threatening the inhabitants issues.

Tuna varieties to keep away from:

  • bluefin tuna – critically endangered

  • bigeye tuna – overfished, low inhabitants

These are premium forms of tuna usually solely discovered at excessive finish sashimi and sushi eating places, not typically seen right here in Australia.

Eat much less:

Yellowfin is the kind of tuna that’s typically served in uncooked kind resembling sashimi, sushi, ceviche and crudos. It’s a favorite of positive eating institutions for the color, texture and flavour.

Much less-concerned

Close up of fork picking up a slice of tuna steak
Yellowfin tuna (Ahi tuna) is a kind of tuna generally used for tuna steaks and sushi, favoured for the delicate clear flavour and beautiful crimson color.

Balancing price range with sustainable selections

I do know that price range comes into consideration right here when making sustainable meals selections, as a result of essentially the most accountable canned tuna is costlier.

However with info comes the power to make knowledgeable selections so we are able to do the very best we are able to to play our half to make a distinction.

In order that’s what I’m doing with this submit.

And the excellent news is that a lot of the canned tuna at common grocery shops right here in Australia is taken into account comparatively accountable as of late. However make sure that to learn the label! And don’t instinctively attain for canned tuna with a “dolphin pleasant” stamp on it which could be deceptive. Right here’s why.

Good Fish responsibly sourced canned tuna
GoodFish tuna will get a gold begin for sustainable tuna, however it comes with a price ticket.

Deceptive “dolphin pleasant” stamp

The “Dolphin pleasant” labelling that you simply see on nearly all cans of tuna isn’t a real indicator of sustainable practices right here in Australia. It is because using this stamp isn’t regulated.

For instance, a lot of the canned tuna we eat in Australia comes from the Pacific in an space the place dolphins will not be widespread. So catching tuna in a “dolphin pleasant” method isn’t related!

The “dolphin pleasant” label is extra related to the US the place dolphins do reside with tuna and are victims of unethical tuna fishing practices.

Word: Not all manufacturers mis-use the dolphin secure label, like Safcol No Internet Tuna product line which is pictured under. However realizing that some do means it’s a label we are able to’t all the time depend on.

In closing: a word on private ideas

I’d be remiss in not let you know that I eat and recognize the qualities of the premium tuna species listed above as keep away from or eat much less of. I’ve even shared recipes utilizing them.

However they’re a particular deal with relatively than an on a regular basis ingredient, consumed sparingly in uncooked kind, and definitely not used wherever close to the size of mass produced canned tuna.

Right here in Australia, yellowfin tuna served in uncooked kind (assume – tartare, ceviche, sashimi) is widespread at positive eating eating places. Simply strive to decide on fish sourced utilizing sustainable practices – ask your server! Although as of late, you’ll discover that sustainability is on the forefront of eating places run by nicely revered cooks in our nation.

Why impulsively a submit on sustainable consuming?

And for those who’re a daily reader questioning why is Nagi impulsively doing a submit on sustainable consuming? The reply is that this: cooking, meals and sourcing of components is an ongoing journey of training. I be taught one thing new each single day, and this consists of studying extra about sustainability of meals.

As a normal recipe web site, the concentrate on what I do is round offering recipes. However the place doable, or the place a subject is of non-public significance to me, I’ll at instances share what I’ve realized and my private opinion on issues – whether or not or not it’s my favorite model of curry pastes, that I detest retailer purchased fish inventory, selecting between grass and grain fed beef or what I find out about selecting accountable canned tuna. 🙂

I hope you’ve discovered this submit helpful! – Nagi x

Data sources

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