JS fights for tuna As sales of fresh tuna reach an all time high, Sainsbury has announced it is to join forces with the Marine Stewardship Council to fund a project to protect stocks. Consumer spending in the UK on fresh tuna alone increased 15-fold from £786,000 in 1993 to £12.4m in 2001 [Taylor Nelson Sofres Superpanel]. The three-year project will investigate the management of tuna fisheries around the world and aims to provide a sustainable source of fresh tuna for future customers. Sainsbury was the first supermarket in the world to support the MSC and says it now stocks more MSC labelled seafood than any other retailer, including Alaska canned and fresh salmon and Blue Parrot Café breaded frozen New Zealand hoki. Stuart Mitchell, Sainsbury's assistant md, said: "We are confident this partnership will enable the MSC to bring certified tuna to Sainsbury's shelves. MSC's success in certifying Alaska salmon fisheries has proved it is possible to tackle the big sustainability issues." Brendan May, chief executive of the MSC said: "The battle for sustainable fisheries can only be won if retailers like Sainsbury demonstrate real vision and leadership." The responsibilities of a new dedicated tuna fisheries officer in the MSC's Asia-Pacific office will include building relationships with tuna fisheries, industry, government and environmental NGOs with a view to encouraging fisheries to apply for certification to the MSC standard, whilst encouraging the commercial sector to support the initiative. In the Atlantic the number of spawning blue fin tuna has declined by nearly 90% and fishing for them is now restricted (see main story). {{MEAT }}