Canned Tuna Shopping Guide – Which Brands To Avoid

What the devil does canned tuna have to do with your carbon footprint?

Well, every purchase and lifestyle decision either directly or indirectly impacts the expansion or contraction of a consumer’s carbon footprint. Purchase decisions should reward those brands that have taken measurable steps to deliver the product in the most sustainable way currently possible. Those that fall short of the current benchmark, should be avoided. Simple as that.

With each “purchase” vote, you’re moving the marketplace towards offering sustainable, responsibly produced consumables that help minimize your carbon footprint.

Oceans slowly absorb CO2 naturally, but eventually hit a saturation point. As more CO2 is absorbed, acidification occurs and the pH level rises, impacting the natural balance and the ability for critical marine life to thrive.

Green Blizzard Article: Demise of Krill

Certain tuna stocks are being over-fished and are now stressed because of the fishing methods long employed. Using a net that encircles a large area and then is gradually tighten and lifted into a cargo haul pulls out everything in its path including non-targeted fish, sharks, sea turtles. Inadvertently killing large numbers of non-targeted offsets the natural balance.

Pole and line and troll-caught are two more responsible fishing methods that better target just the tuna. These are not perfect, but much betters. Bottom-line, brands that used these methods are the ones to reward with your business.

Green Peace evaluated 12 top brands using several criteria, but the one that stood out as important was the type of fishing gear used to catch the tuna and its ability to avoid snagging other non-targeted fish, (sharks,turtles,…) They ranked the major brands based on findings using these criteria: sustainability policy, health of tuna stocks, traceability, fishing methods uses, product labelling and consumer education, support for marine reserves, commitment to ethical labor practices, avoiding illegal, unreported products.

Green Peace current ranking of the major brands on the U.S. market.

Strong Buys

    Wild Planet
    American Tuna
    Ocean Naturals

Pretty Good

    Whole Foods
    Trader Joe’s


    Chicken of the Sea- Chunk Light
    Star Kist

Green Blizzard Article: Sustainable Fish Guide

Green Blizzard Article: Are We Eating Fish Into Extinction?

#1 Brand To Avoid – One of the biggest US tuna brands, Chicken of the Sea. Greenpeace gave it failing grades for its destructive fishing practices that kill thousands of marine animals every year, including already vulnerable sharks and sea turtles.


About the author

Moose Mosely

Moose, (yes, that's his everyday name - at least as far as we know), writes about all sorts of green living insights. Every minute, every decision we make in our lives has some impact to our personal carbon footprint, and Moose is there to share some insights on its impact and relevance and suggests healthier alternatives.