Safe Catch Sustainability and Socially Responsible Sourcing Policy
Safe Catch will always provide pure sustainably sourced seafood and help to protect purity in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. Providing seafood from well-managed fisheries using sustainable fishing methods is essential to promoting a healthy ecosystem and to conserve populations for the future.
Our packing methods ensure utmost quality in every can. We hand cut and hand pack pure tuna steaks. They are then slow cooked to perfection with maximum nutrients retained. Conventional twice cooked tuna is made by putting the fish in large pre-cookers on open racks, machine processing it, and then rehydrating the precooked tuna in the can and cooking it again. As a result, conventional tuna loses many vital Omega 3 oils as the fish precook on racks, and the oils drain away. Machine processing also impairs natural flavor and texture. Our wild pink salmon are also hand cut, hand packed and slow cooked to achieve delicious results with maximum nutrients retained.
Our sustainability policy focuses on protecting the entire marine ecosystem, and we believe sustainable use requires supporting conservation while reducing our environmental impact. We have chosen our catch methods very carefully. We are committed to using tuna and salmon species as well as fishing techniques that are rated Green Best Choice or Yellow Good Alternative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program. Safe Catch tests each fish to our strict mercury standard, which is published on every package. If it doesn’t meet our published mercury standard, we don’t purchase it. We are the only seafood brand with the technology to test every single fish, and we are the only brand that does.
Safe Catch Elite Wild Tuna
Safe Catch Elite wild tuna is made with skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) caught in the Western Central Pacific (FAO 71) which are part of the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) skipjack tuna stock. The most recent Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission assessment of WCPO skipjack tuna shows populations to be healthy and sustainably fished.
Safe Catch Elite only uses free school skipjack tuna that are caught by purse seine boats without the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs). All the skipjack tuna we purchase must be accompanied by a FAD-Free certificate that states the catch was monitored by an independent observer. Our FAD-Free certification may also include certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Considering all aspects of environmental sustainability, FAD-Free purse seining of free school skipjack is amongst the best methods for ocean health. During each voyage using this method, boats are able to catch a healthier load, reducing the need for frequent smaller fishing trips. When practiced sustainably, FAD-free purse seining reduces carbon emissions and associated cascading effects of climate change and environmental degradation.
Safe Catch Wild Ahi Tuna
Our Wild Ahi tuna, made with yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are caught in the Western Central Pacific catch area (FAO 71) or Indian Ocean (FAO 57).
Safe Catch Wild Ahi tuna are only caught by purse seine boats without the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) or using the pole and line method.
Our albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) belong to the North and South Pacific Ocean Albacore populations and are caught in the Northwest Pacific (FAO 61), the Western Central Pacific (FAO 71), and off the coast of New Zealand (FAO 81). The Marine Fisheries Commission and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program endorses this as sustainable stock. All of our albacore tuna are caught using the pole and line catch method. Fishermen that employ the pole and line catch method use barbless hooks and poles to catch tuna one at a time near the water’s surface.
Albacore are a large-sized fish and accumulate mercury as they mature. In order to obtain lower mercury levels, some companies choose smaller, younger albacore tuna. Not only is this ineffective, but highly unsustainable. Harvesting juvenile albacore restricts population growth because tuna are harvested before reproducing. Safe Catch tests and uses all sizes of tuna to determine exactly which ones meet our purity standards. The fishing techniques we use to catch our albacore are ranked Green “Best Choice” for sustainability by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, and all of our albacore products are Ocean Wise Approved for sustainability.
Wild Pink Salmon
Our Wild Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) are caught using Set Gillnets, Purse Seine, and Driftnet methods in the Northern Pacific Ocean (FAO 61 & 67). We only use wild pink salmon that are caught in Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries. All of our salmon products are Ocean Wise Approved for sustainability.
Our Wild Sardines (Sardina pilchardus) are “free school” purse seine caught in the Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean (FAO 34) off the coast of Morocco. We exclusively source sardines that are certified by Friend of the Sea to be in compliance with the Friend of the Sea Criteria for sustainable fisheries.
Safe Catch is an approved Earth Island Institute (EII) Dolphin Safe company. To be approved by the EII we only purchase tuna that has Dolphin Safe certificates signed by the captain of each ship and verified by an independent third-party observer on board each ship. Safe Catch will never source fish caught with dolphin associated sets.
Statement on Illegal and Wasteful Fishing Practices
We do not and will not source from fishing operations engaged in shark finning or other wasteful fishing practices. We do not and will not source from companies associated with illegal operations or that have ever been listed on any blacklist. We do not support practices such as transshipment at sea that can facilitate illegal activities.
Statement on Sourcing of Endangered or Threatened Species
We do not and will not source any species listed as Endangered, Critically Endangered or Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We do not and will not source tuna or salmon from overfished stocks or stocks undergoing overfishing as officially described by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission or other science reports.
We will not do business with any vessels, canneries, or processors that we suspect or know to be engaged in any human rights or labor abuses. If any vessel, cannery or processor is suspected of human rights or labor abuses we will support and participate in a full investigation in cooperation with all relevant worker organizations, civil society or intergovernmental actors and applicable enforcement agencies. We support any and all opportunity for interventions that prioritize the social and economic welfare of workers and protection of the victims of trafficking, forced and bonded labor.
As our oceans continue to be threatened by overfishing and environmental destruction, Safe Catch supports the creation of marine protected areas to restore and protect marine ecosystems. Safe Catch supports the creation of new marine protected areas and reserves that sustain critical spawning and nursery habitats, diversity hot-spots, and regions subjected to overfishing.
We believe that by giving consumers an opportunity to voice their opinions on harmful polluting practices by choosing products that specifically address these practices we can contribute to a more environmentally friendly, circular economy, and sustain fisheries for future generations. Safe Catch also donates to ocean conservation groups that are working to educate consumers and directly remove plastics from our oceans.
Pacific Commons Marine Reserve
All vessels Safe Catch sources from operate under the PNA vessel day scheme. Safe Catch supports the creation of high sea pockets under the Pacific Commons marine reserve and supports development of Pacific Island nations. We recognize reserves in the eastern high seas are essential for recovery and protection of vulnerable species. Safe Catch does not and will not source from vessels using purse seine fish aggregated devices (FAD’s) .
Labeling & Transparency
Not only do we want our customers to know exactly what is in the food they eat, we want them to know where it came from as well. All of our products are fully traceable from captain to table. All of our chain of custody information is carefully managed, and we are working with Trace Register to bring that information to those customers that request it.