A group of environmental activists led by a mermaid descended on Chicken of the Sea's headquarters in downtown San Diego on Wednesday afternoon (October 28) to protest what they call a "greenwashing" of the company's record on ocean sustainability.
Among the complaints lodged by the international group Greenpeace are allegations that Thai Union Group, which recently acquired Chicken of the Sea, uses slave labor on international fishing vessels and uses methods of fishing that "result in high levels of sharks, turtles, juvenile tuna and seabirds caught unintentionally."
"Chicken of the Sea has worked hard to greenwash its image with a majestic mermaid mascot that appeals to children and families across the country," said "acclaimed mermaid performance artist" Hannah Fraser in a release following the demonstration and another protest earlier in Pacific Beach. "I came to San Diego to inform people who buy tuna about this company’s record of ocean destruction."
The action was part of a global protest. In Liverpool, England, the group erected a giant tuna can fitted with a video screen outside the headquarters of John West, another Thai Union subsidiary.
Greenpeace says the group has collected 80,000 signatures on a petition urging reforms in the tuna-fishing industry; the petition and signatures were delivered in San Diego yesterday. They plan to crowd-fund several parody billboards shaming the company that are expected to go up around town sometime next week.