CHARLOTTE, NC (August 12, 2014) – Today Compass Group announced a commitment to sourcing 100% of canned Skipjack Tuna as Fish Aggregating Device (FAD)-Free beginning January 1, 2015. This change in sourcing will impact over 1.9 million pounds of skipjack tuna, more than 50% of Compass Group’s total canned tuna purchases annually.
Compass Group and Foodbuy, will source the skipjack tuna from Mitsui Foods, our preferred supplier of canned tuna. As a part of the agreement, Mitsui Foods has committed that every tuna shipment destined for Compass Group will be accompanied by a signed statement from the boat captain including date range tuna was caught, catch area, and a commitment that no FADs were used.
“We applaud Compass Group for shifting its sourcing to more environmentally responsible methods and for their continued commitment to sustainable seafood and healthy oceans, says Jennifer Dianto-Kemmerly, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch ® director.
Tens of thousands of fish aggregating devices (FADs) are deployed annually by the world’s tuna vessels. These man-made structures function as open-ocean shelters that lure schools of various species. Vessels set their nets on FADs, scooping up everything around them, but keeping only the tuna. The “by-catch,” including sharks, billfish and sea turtles, is often dead and tossed overboard. The use of FADs is highly unregulated and results in what scientists estimate to be over 100,000 tons of by-catch annually (Tim Dempster & Marc Taquet, 2005).
The sourcing strategy employed by Mitsui will use purse seine netting – without the use of FADs. This is a less destructive and more sustainable way of sourcing tuna. Seafood Watch® recommends FAD-free skipjack tuna as a “Best Choice”.
“We want to assure our guests that the seafood they enjoy in our cafés is sourced using responsible methods of catch that have minimal impact on the health of our oceans,” says Amy Keister, VP of Sustainability for Compass Group.
Compass Group is proud of the continuing partnership it has with Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seafood Watch, which began in 2002. Compass Group’s first seafood purchasing policy that removed unsustainable wild and farmed seafood from our menus was established in 2006.
Based in Charlotte NC, Compass Group North America is the leading foodservice management and support services company with $12.8 billion USD (£8 billion) in revenues in 2013. With over 500,000 associates worldwide, its parent company, UK-based Compass Group PLC had revenues of £17.6
Seafood Watch® is a program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium that empowers consumers and businesses to make choices for healthy oceans, helping support diverse marine ecosystems for the future. Using science-based, peer review methods, Seafood Watch assesses how fisheries and farmed seafood impact the environment and provides recommendations indicating which items are “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and which ones to “Avoid.” Seafood Watch raises consumer awareness through its pocket guides, website, smart phone and tablet application, and partnerships with businesses, zoos, aquariums and culinary leaders.