1. How is Sustainable Seas tuna caught?
Our tuna are caught individually using pole and line methods. This ensures that no other marine life is caught or harmed in the process, unlike long-line and FAD (fish aggregating device) purse seine methods which are employed by many national companies and endanger other marine species.
2. Is Sustainable Seas tuna wild or farm-raised?
Our tuna is all ocean wild caught.
3. Is Sustainable Seas tuna packed in water or oil?
Sustainable Seas tuna is packed in water, and offered in both Salted and No Salt Added varieties.
4. Why is the Omega 3 content higher in Sustainable Seas Albacore tuna than competitive brands also packed in water?
We use smaller fish than many competitive brands for our Sustainable Seas line of tuna. These smaller fish naturally contain higher levels of Omega 3.
5. How is Sustainable Seas offering of smaller, younger tuna with less mercury consistent with a sustainability mission when these young fish have not had a chance to breed?
There are two fishery segments targeting albacore tuna worldwide: 1) surface fisheries catching migratory juveniles and 2) deep water long-line fisheries capturing spawning stocks. It is counterintuitive to assume that the most sustainable method of catch is to shift effort to juveniles since they have never bred. However, if all fish should be allowed to breed before harvest then there would be no commercial salmon industry since all commercial salmon have also not bred. The salmon stocks are managed by assessment of percentage of capture versus escapement. If an adequate percentage escape capture to go on to reproduce, then the fishery is considered sustainable.
In the albacore world, the surface fisheries are artisanal methods of harvest that are fairly ineffective in capture compared to long-line fisheries. The West Coast troll and pole fishery captures less than 15% of the bio-mass resulting in 85% of the fish recruiting. This 85% escapement is sufficient to sustain the population of the species. Once a fish becomes a mature spawning adult it continues to increase in fecundity exponentially with age. A 10 year old female albacore produces many times more eggs than a 6 year old albacore. The same is true with rockfish or most other fish and is the key rationale for marine reserves designed to protect mega fauna (large spawning adults) in the reserves and allow catch of their offspring outside the reserves. There is scientific consensus that a harvest shift away from long-line caught mature albacore to migratory juveniles with proper escapement is the best model for sustainability; this explains why groups like Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch consider US troll/pole caught albacore as a "best choice"
6. Why is Sustainable Seas tuna packed in Vietnam?
There is no tuna cannery capable of processing our volume. Cost of production in the U.S. would also greatly increase the retail price of our products, making them difficult for the average family to afford. In order to support our mission of making sustainable seafood choices mainstream and accessible we have elected to process our tuna in state-of-the-art partner facilities in Vietnam. Since Sustainable Seas sources from environmentally exemplary fisheries around the world, our selection of the strategically located canning facility noted above also result in less transportation distances overall.
7. Is Sustainable Seas tuna gluten free?
All of our products have been tested for the presence of gluten by a third party testing agency. The results indicate non detectable for gluten. We attribute these results to the fact that our products naturally do not contain gluten – we simply pack fish and salt into our tuna canned products.