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Metro reels in new line of pole caught tuna

Irresistibles Life Smart pole caught tuna is part of Metro's sustainable fisheries policy

Metro has launched a new line of canned skipjack tuna caught using the centuries-old pole caught method which it said aligns with its sustainable fisheries policy.

The Irresistibles Life Smart pole caught tuna is available in Metro and Super C stores in Quebec and Metro and Food Basics stores in Ontario. It’s priced slightly higher than other types of tuna.

The major advantage of the pole caught method is that fish are caught one at a time, said Michel Bélanger, who has been with Metro since 2011 as its oceanographer, specialist sustainable fisheries. Catching fish that way eliminates bycatch (unintended catch) of other fish, sharks, turtles and other large marine animals.

For that reason, pole caught skipjack tuna receives a “best choice” recommendation from such organizations as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.

Skipjack tuna “is an excellent source of protein,” and is also low in sodium and has plenty of essential fatty acids, said Marie Horodecki-Aymes, director, design and packaging, private labels. As well, skipjack tuna is very resilient thanks to its rapid growth and very high fertility.

The canned tuna qualifies as a “great choice” in the “My healthy plate with Metro” program launched last October. It is also part of Metro’s Life Smart line of Irresistibles products, which will feature more than 400 products by the end of 2015.

Metro believes that part of the solution to the sustainable fisheries issue rests in diversifying its offerings, in terms of the species it offers as well as alternative fishing methods, said Geneviève Grégoire, Metro communication advisor. The pole caught canned skipjack tuna is part of Metro’s sustainable fisheries policy, which was adopted in 2010.

Bélanger says exporters’ packing lists, certificates of origin from fisheries and captains’ statements are among the tools that are being used to ensure the fish is truly pole caught. The tuna comes from the North Pacific.

Horodecki-Aymes says Metro will see how customers react to the pole caught tuna before launching other similar products.

“We think it will resonate with customers who are looking for such products,” said Grégoire.

The tuna will be promoted in upcoming circulars.

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