Princes has vowed to improve the sustainability of its tuna with a new four-year plan.

The company said that from 2014 it would use only pole and line-caught fish, ditching ‘aggregation’ methods that risk catching sharks and other species along with the tuna.

The move comes after Princes was named as the worst offender in terms of its environmental impact on a Greenpeace list of canned tuna producer, prompting protests last month at the company's Liverpool HQ.

“Our action plan is a major commitment that will require significant change within the supply chain,” said Princes deputy managing director Mike Easterbrook.

“By setting out a four-year plan and sharing our progress with others in the industry, we hope to encourage other major tuna purchasers to follow our lead.”

Asda has also indicated that it plans to source its canned tuna from more sustainable methods.

Greenpeace said it now regarded John West as the UK’s least sustainable canned tuna producer.

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