The Guide > Food & Drink > Canned & Packet Food > Canned Fish (Tuna)
Canned Fish (Tuna)
Bisphenol A (BPA) is the basis for plastics such as polycarbonates and is found in consumer goods such as baby bottles, plastic microwave food containers and canned food and beverage linings. On October 2008, Canada became the first country to formally declare BPA hazardous to human health, due to its links with a wide range of health disorders from infertility, breast and prostate cancer, to thyroid malfunction, attention deficit syndrome and recurrent miscarriage. It is commonly found in PVC and PS plastic packaging (cordial bottles, yoghurt tubs) and in the lining of canned food tins.
  • You can reduce exposure to BPA by avoiding the following plastics: No.3 - PVC (Polyvinyl chloride), No.6 - PS (PolyStyrene), No.7 - includes PC (PolyCarbonate).
  • See Deakin University study, supporting the growing international evidence of the health risks. April 2014 Deakin
  • See which companies are taking steps to remove BPA from their products in this report by As You Sow: As You Sow
Tuna brands play a key role in the overfishing crisis by selling us tuna caught destructively. Popular fishing methods are wiping out vital tuna species and destroying marine life.

Greenpeace's 2017 edition of their canned tuna guide reveals significant improvements. John West and Safcol lead the way and now offer Australian customers canned tuna caught using sustainable fishing methods. Most brands have also ruled out using threatened Yellowfin Tuna.
  • Use Greenpeace's Canned Tuna Guide to see how Australian canned tuna brands compare on their commitment to sustainability and human rights. [Please note that Shop Ethical ratings are company based, while Greenpeace's Canned Tuna Guide uses a product based rating system] Greenpeace Canned Tuna Guide
  • Every species of tuna is rated 'say no' or 'eat less' by GoodFish, Australia's Sustainable Seafood Guide. We suggest you avoid buying tuna altogether. GoodFish
Today, around 5 per cent of the world's entire fish catch, by weight, is tuna and the global tuna business is worth around $5.5bn. All of the 23 identified, commercially exploited stocks are heavily fished; at least nine of these are classified as fully fished and a further four classified as overexploited or depleted. Three stocks are classified as 'critically endangered', three as 'endangered', and three as 'vulnerable to extinction'. The magnificent and iconic southern bluefin tuna has been reduced by some 95 per cent of stocks before 1950.
  • Know how your tuna was caught. The vast majority of fished tuna is caught by large commercial fishing vessels using one of two methods: long-line fishing and purse seining. Both methods produce by-catch in large numbers. Where possible choose tuna caught by other methods such as pole and line fishing, or bait-boat fishing, which are very selective and eliminate the problem of by-catch, and have significantly smaller environmental impact. AMCS: Fishing Gear in Focus
  • Make informed seafood choices with GoodFish, Australia's Sustainable Seafood Guide, produced by the Australian Marine Conservation Society. GoodFish
  • Ask your retailer these three questions to help protect our oceans and fisheries. 1. What is it and where was it caught? 2. How was it caught? 3. Do you have a policy for sourcing only truly sustainable seafood? See Greenpeace's Red List Fish for list of species to avoid. Red List Fish
Company Ratings
A Praises, no criticism
B Some praise, no criticism
? No rating
C Praises, some criticism
D Criticism, some praise
F Criticisms
Note: Ratings are based on company record, including parent companies. They are not a comment on the product itself.
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