How is Wild Planet’s offering of smaller, younger fish consistent with a sustainability mission when these fish haven’t had a chance to breed?
There are two fishing segments targeting albacore worldwide; surface fisheries which catch migratory juveniles, and deep-water long-line, which captures spawning stock. Young migrating fish caught by pole and line are not the babies, but the three to five year old fish that weight 9-25 pounds each. Fishermen avoid fishing on schools that are smaller than 9 pounds and the US buyers do not accept those smaller fish, either. The west coast pole and line or troll fisheries *, for example, capture less than 15% of the migrating bio-mass which means that 85% of the fish will return to spawning stocks. This escapement is acceptable in order to sustain the population of the species.
* For a definition of pole and line and troll fisheries, please see