Expansion of sustainable tuna brand at Whole Foods Market® boosts prospects for local fishing communities

Whole Foods Market partners with American Tuna to expand the sustainable Pole & Line Tuna and Deck Hand Premium Cat Food lines with three new products

Aug 18, 2015, 13:19 ET from American Tuna

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- American Tuna announced the expansion of its partnership with Whole Foods Market with the introduction of three new products for the popular Pole & Line Tuna and Deck Hand Premium Cat Food lines: Pole & Line Yellowfin tuna, Deck Hand Premium Cat Food with Salmon, and Deck Hand Premium Cat Food with Shrimp. Both brands are available exclusively at Whole Foods Market. The expansion bolsters American Tuna's and Whole Foods Market's continued support for local fishing communities and sustainable fisheries.

All Pole & Line and Deck Hand tuna are caught by artisanal fishermen using a sustainable method called "Pole & Line caught" in which fish are caught one at a time. All fish are harvested in sustainable fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and can be traced back to a specific catch.

"Our partnership with Whole Foods is helping fishing families keep a century-old tradition of sustainable, small-scale fishing alive," said Natalie Webster, a member of one of American Tuna's founding families. "On the U.S. Pacific Coast, our sustainable approach supports the livelihood of artisanal U.S. fishermen, while in the Indian Ocean, our partnership with Maldivian fishermen supports their local economy. Pole & Line and Deck Hand brands enhance the economic opportunities and well-being of fishing families, sustainable fisheries and coastal communities."

With the Pole & Line method, fishermen use barbless hooks and poles to catch younger tuna one at a time near the sea's surface. Younger tuna are naturally lower in mercury and higher in omega-3 fatty acids than their older, deeper-swimming counterparts.

This approach also eliminates the longline and purse seine methods, employed by most commercial fishing fleets, often resulting in the indiscriminate harvest of other species.

"Every aspect of Pole & Line, from sustainability to traceability to nutrition, has been carefully thought through," said Dwight Richmond, global grocery purchasing coordinator for Whole Foods Market. "With Pole & Line and Deck Hand lines, every can is traceable back to its source and uses more of each fish, which means shoppers can enjoy a higher quality, more responsibly-sourced product at a great low price."

Each can of Pole & Line contains a solid, hand-filleted tuna steak cooked to perfection.  Deck Hand uses the red meat portions of the same fish (vs. white meat in Pole & Line). Both lines are made without fillers or additives. Any remaining parts become fish and bone meal for animal feed so no food waste is generated.

For more information, please visit www.poleandlinecaught.com.

American Tuna was formed in 2005 by six American Pole & Line fishing families in San Diego, California, with a mission of providing high-quality, sustainable canned tuna that customers can buy directly from the source. The company uses traditional harvest and packing methods to offer the highest quality, all-natural tuna on the market, and has championed the development of sustainable fisheries and integrity in labeling by providing 100% traceability of every can.

American Tuna has long partnered with Whole Foods in this mission. Pole & Line and Deck Hand represent both organizations' ongoing commitment to delivering sustainable and high-quality choices to consumers. Learn more at www.poleandlinecaught.com.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150818/259333LOGO
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150818/259334

SOURCE American Tuna