Made in America
Better Nutrition|March 2021
Meet American Tuna. This family owned company uses the most sustainable fishing method around—and they utilize only American ports, trucking, and canners.
NEIL ZEVNIK

Did you know that 90 percent of the 7.1 billion pounds of seafood that Americans consume every year is imported? I didn’t, and it’s a disturbing statistic on so many levels—environmental, economic, and personal.

Let’s turn our attention to one huge segment of that market, canned tuna. First, a primer on methods of harvesting: long-line, purse seine, and pole-and-line. Long-line is exactly that—long lines (up to 60 miles long!) with multiple branches, hooks, and bait. These can attract and snag vast numbers of non-targeted marine life, including sea turtles, seabirds, sharks, and marine mammals. Obviously a bad idea.

Even more undesirable is the purse seine method. It involves a large wall of netting deployed around an entire area or school of fish that is then drawn in from the bottom. It is a destructive, nonselective fishing method that captures everything that it surrounds, including protected species. Definitely the worst.

Then there’s pole-and-line fishing, the good guy coming to the rescue. In this method, fishermen use barbless hooks and poles to catch tuna one at a time near the sea’s surface. One guy, one pole, one fish at a time, with no bycatch or harm to other species, and far less impact on the targeted stocks.

Joel Cardoza of American Tuna puts that in perspective: “Purse seining often results in harvests of 200 tons in one day, while American pole-and-line vessels will catch 200–300 tons in four months of fishing—an entire season.”

The Only American Pole-andLine Tuna

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