The Green Scene

Chicken of the Many Seas

Posted in Uncategorized by Teresa on December 9, 2008

Prior to the 1980s, US fishers were located primarily in the Eastern Pacific where tuna and dolphins swim together. During this time, over 400,000 dolphins were killed in the US tuna hunt.

In an interesting way, this ties into our study of “nature on display.” It was only after a documentary was filmed documenting the killings of dolphins that fishing in these areas was banned. VP of Heinz said that “Tuna is a fun food — if it’s associated with harassment and killing of a noble creature like the dolphin, that’s not right.” This demonstrates the value of brand image to the consumer. It wasn’t about whether the dolphins were killed; it was about whether consumers would still see tuna as a fun food.

Later on, Mexico grew to have the largest tuna fleet in the world and exports to Europe and Japan. However, US ban over Mexico for producing dolphin-destroying tuna slowed their profits. How does tuna travel across the world today? Now, the tuna from your canned Chicken of the Sea comes from the South Pacific most frequently. It is canned, labeled, and distributed at different locations.

Globalization of the tuna industry grew in 1990s, when firms from Asia bought out the major companies, Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea — even though today’s tuna comes from the South Pacific, US and major Asian countries maintain a monopoly over the fish supply. Like my original post about globalization suggests, globalization at times ends up being a race for the worse due to differing regulations across the global economies.


One Response to 'Chicken of the Many Seas'

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  1. michaelb21 said,

    Here is some food for thought. The one concern I have over tuna is the concentration levels of mercury I have heard tuna contains. I was unsure on whether or not it was fact or fiction so I went to the Environment Defense Fund’s website and found this article-
    Apparently Canned light (chunk light) has one third the mercury concentration that canned albacore tuna (solid/chunk white) has. Also women of child-bearing age and children should limit how much tuna they eat to about one to two servings per month. The Environmental Defense Fund say that,
    “Here’s why: Children (and infants and fetuses) are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of mercury, since their brains and nervous systems are still developing. They may suffer learning disabilities and developmental delays from prolonged or repeated exposure to even small amounts of mercury. Children who were exposed to mercury before birth may experience problems with mental development and coordination, including how they think, learn and problem-solve later in life.”
    So be careful what you eat.

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