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Sustainable Pole & Line Tuna and Deck Hand Premium Cat Food Launched

27 May 2014

US - American Tuna has announced the culmination of the next phase in its efforts to support local fishing communities and sustainable fisheries with the launch of Pole & Line Tuna and Deck Hand Premium Cat Food, both available exclusively at Whole Foods Market starting this spring.

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.

In addition, every can of tuna can be traced to its source. Pole & Line Albacore, caught off the US Pacific Coast by US fishermen, is even traceable to a specific vessel and boat captain, while Pole & Line Skipjack (caught in the Maldives, Indian Ocean) and Deck Hand Premium Cat Food can be traced to a specific batch.

All fish are harvested in two Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries: the MSC certified US Pole & Line albacore fishery and the MSC certified Maldivian Pole & Line fishery.

“Our partnership with Whole Foods Market is helping fishing families keep a century-old tradition of sustainable, small-scale fishing alive,” said Natalie Webster, a member of one of the founding families at American Tuna.

“On the US Pacific Coast, our sustainable approach supports the livelihood of artisanal US 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.

The Pole & Line method 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 nutrition to traceability, has been carefully thought through,” said Dwight Richmond, global grocery purchasing coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “These products bring true innovation to the tuna category with an end result of higher quality for consumers at a great low price.”

Each 5-ounce can of Pole & Line contains a solid tuna steak that has been hand-filleted and cooked to perfection. Pole & Line comes in five varieties:

  • Albacore No Salt Added
  • Albacore With Salt
  • Albacore in Olive Oil
  • Skipjack No Salt Added
  • Skipjack With Salt

Deck Hand Premium Cat Food is available in a 5-ounce can and in a sleeve containing three 3-ounce cans. Deck Hand contains the same fish as Pole & Line, the only difference being the use of tuna red meat for the cat food (vs. white meat in Pole & Line). Both lines are made without fillers or additives (the salt and olive oil used in three varieties are for flavor only). Any remaining parts become fish and bone meal for animal feed so no food waste is generated.

Pole & Line and Deck Hand Premium Cat Food make their debut at Whole Foods stores nationwide this spring. For more information, please visit

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