John West blocks Facebook page from international community after backlash prompted by Greenpeace's 'horror spoof' of BWM Melbourne's 'Reveal' TV commercial

Screen shot 2012-10-22 at 11.20.20 AM-thumb-400x189-88897.jpgAustralia's biggest tuna brand, John West, blocked its Facebook page from the international community last night after it was bombarded with concerns about its destructive fishing practices.

The concerns were raised after Greenpeace's 'horror spoof' launch of BWM Melbourne's John West 'reveal ad'.

Says Jamie Ling, Greenpeace digital campaigner: "Anyone outside Australia or New Zealand is being blocked from seeing the John West Australia page. The John West's green veneer is washing off and they've replaced it with a blackout."

Says Nathaniel Pelle, Greenpeace Oceans campaigner: "John West doesn't even catch their fish in Australia; it catches its tuna in the world's largest tuna fishery in the Pacific. The way John West fishes is a global problem, not just Australia's."

Greenpeace Pacific campaigner, Duncan Williams, said even he was blocked from commenting on the page from his home in Fiji.

Says Williams: "It is an insult that John West think Pacific Islanders shouldn't have a say in how they fish when they are plundering our fishery."

John West fish uses destructive 'fish aggregating devices' (FADs). Fishing with FADs and giant nets results in 10% 'bycatch' in every haul, including sharks, baby tuna, rays and turtles. This rate is ten times higher than nets set without FADs and Greenpeace is demanding that John West commit to FAD-free fishing in line with other major Australian brands Greenseas, Safcol and Sirena.

John West responded to outrage over their fishing methods yesterday with a statement saying the company would research ways to make FADs sustainable.

Last year in the Western Central Pacific Ocean FAD use was at a record high.

Says Pelle: "Vague commitments to non-existent future technologies are no excuse for inaction when the problem of FADs is getting worse today.

"John West response to customer's demands border on the absurd. Apparently, the company will keep fishing with destructive FADs while it tries to find a way to make FADs sustainable. That's like a tobacco company encouraging smoking because they're working on a cure for cancer."

Greenpeace is campaigning globally to ban the destructive use of FAD fishing.


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