Sainsbury's has opened up a new front in its campaign to deliver more sustainable fish, announcing last week that it has become the first U.K. retailer to offer customers tuna sandwiches that are made using Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fish.
The supermarket giant launched the new range of MSC-certified pole and line caught sandwiches and salads last week, extending its commitment to low-impact fishing techniques that reduce the risk of bycatch.
Pole and line fishing techniques are widely regarded as more sustainable than trawling operations, as each skipjack tuna is caught individually.
The introduction of the latest MSC-certified product follows the retailer's launch of MSC-certified canned skipjack tuna sourced from the Maldives in 2013, as well as the company's decision to switch its own brand tuna supplies to fish sourced using pole and line methods.
Toby Middleton, MSC senior country manager, hailed the launch of the new product range as "a really important move by Sainsbury's."
"The U.K.'s first MSC-certified tuna sandwich is a milestone for sustainable seafood," he said in a statement. "Tuna is a poster child for sustainable seafood and Maldivian pole and line-caught skipjack tuna was MSC certified in 2012. By choosing tuna from the Maldives tuna fishery, Sainsbury's is supporting artisanal fishermen who have made an international difference to the way the Indian Ocean fishery is managed."
Sainsbury's has made a big play of its commitment to more sustainable fisheries in recent years, offering a raft of MSC-certified products and launching a Switch the Fish campaign that sought to encourage consumers to purchase fish species that are under less pressure.