The Bumble Bee Seafood Company has announced a $40million commitment to restore and protect the world’s oceans over the next five years.
The San Diego-based firm has launched an Accelerator Fund which it hopes will ensure plentiful tuna stocks, remove plastics and other waste from the ocean and reduce the impact of fishing on other species.
Bumble Bee adopts a science-based approach to sustainability and works alongside scientists, the tuna industry and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to stay abreast of best practices for sustainable tuna fishing. It also traces products entering the supply chain via its Trace My Catch initiative.
Jan Tharp, president and CEO of the Bumble Bee Seafood Company, said: “Our sustainability journey started many years ago and we’re proud of our past accomplishments, but now is the time to accelerate our actions.
“It’s the right thing to do for our planet, for the billions of people who rely on seafood for sustenance and for the long-term success of our business.”
She added that the company will use the fund to explore new ideas, partners and technologies, while continuing to advance several current initiatives.
These include entering a partnership with the Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) and Ocean Outcomes to launch an albacore (longfin tuna) FIP in the Indian Ocean and get it certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard. It hopes to source 100 per cent of its light meat tuna from MSC-certified fisheries by 2022.
The company has also entered the plant-based protein sector by collaborating with Good Catch Foods, becoming the first major seafood firm to do so. It also aims to help collect lost and abandoned fishing equipment in Indonesia by teaming up with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and will ensure its seafood packaging is 98 per cent recyclable by 2025 (it’s currently at 95 per cent).
Ms Tharp added: “Our bold goals for the future are based on our unwavering focus to restore and protect the health of our oceans.
“Our past efforts are inspiring the path forward, and we’re building in flexibility and accountability along the way. I am personally challenging us to be more collaborative and to continuously learn and adapt as we track our efforts. We’re all in this together.”
Bumble Bee has teamed up with World Oceans Day to demonstrate its sustainability commitments.
Jeff Demain, director of World Oceans Day, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Bumble Bee on our World Oceans Day month-long initiatives. As a seafood industry leader, Bumble Bee shares in our mission to protect the ocean – every day, year-round. We’re proud to partner as they further advance their environmental sustainability efforts, and with their support, we can continue growing the global movement to protect our blue planet and our one global ocean.”