Following the announcement by Pret a Manger chief, Julian Metcalfe, that he was taking tuna caught in unsustainable ways out of sandwiches and sushi, supermarket chain Marks and Spencer has claimed that it is switching to using pole and line caught tuna in its entire food range.
Both announcements follow screenings of the film, The End of the Line, based on a book by the environmental journalist, Charles Clover, which highlights the problems facing the largest tuna species, the bluefin.
Marks and Spencer is one of the country’s largest retailers of sandwiches and the shift is likely to place pressure on other retailers to make the change.
A spokesman said: “As all of our food is own-brand, it means there will be absolutely no products in our stores that use tuna which isn’t pole and line caught.”
Catching fish with pole and line cuts out the vast bycatch of other vulnerable fish species, together with turtles, dolphins and whales, associated with catching tuna in purse-seine nets.
The announcement came after screenings of The End of the Line at 50 cinemas across the country, many of which sold out and were sponsored by supermarket chain Waitrose.
Greta Scacchi, the actress, held a private screening of the film and a party at a City restaurant as she launched a campaign for sustainable fishing, inspired by the documentary.
She was joined by a host of celebrities, including Alan Rickman, Vivienne Westwood, Patsy Kensit, Marie Helvin, Tina Hobley and Colin Firth.
Scacchi and a number of friends have had themselves photographed naked with fish by the photographer Rankin to further the campaign.
She said: “I insisted that I got the biggest fish - a cod from Iceland.”
She wants her fellow celebrities to avoid restaurants that serve endangered fish and to favour establishments such as Soseki, owned by Caroline Bennett and Nicholas Rohl, which has worked hard to develop a sushi menu involving only responsibly-sourced fish.
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