Fledgling ethical tuna brand The Reel fish Co. is to make its TV debut in a bid to more than triple sales and take an annual 8% share - £12m - of the £150m branded tuna market in three years.

The Reel Fish Co., which launched into Asda in July last year, only uses pole-and-line-caught tuna from the Maldives. Annual sales are projected to reach £3.5m this year.

To date, advertising has comprised press and online only, but TV would take the brand to the next level by boosting sales during and after the campaign, said co-founder Angela Fitzpatrick.

“We have a story to tell and undoubtedly a 30-second commercial is the most effective medium, especially as canned tuna has such a high household penetration.”

The ad, which will target ABC1 women with an interest in ethical and branded goods, will debut on 1 September and run at prime time.

It will convey the message that Reel Fish is different to other canned tuna because of the way it is caught and feature a ‘Reel Taste. Never from nets’ tagline.

The ad is animated, a style the brand currently uses on its website and YouTube. It had already “had fantastic feedback because the message is easy to understand and unique”, claimed Fitzpatrick.

The total spend had not yet been finalised but was “significant”, she said, adding that there had been little above-the-line investment in the category until John West had spent £1.7m in 2011.

The brand - which competes with both Princes and John West pole-and-line-caught tuna ranges - is stocked in the big five as well as Waitrose, Ocado and Booths.

Reel Fish’s canned tuna steak in sunflower oil is a finalist in this year’s newly launched The Grocer New Product Awards.