The Reel Fish Company was set up in with just one aim in mind: to offer an environmentally-friendly, sustainable alternative to other branded tuna products on the market. The Reel Fish Company provides pole and line tuna at a competitive market price.
The Reel Fish Company was set up in with just one aim in mind: to offer an environmentally-friendly, sustainable alternative to other branded tuna products on the market.
Once upon time there were two big fishes in a small (ish) sea. Their names were Bryn and Angela, and they worked at the head office of one of the leading canned fish companies in the UK. Whilst they quite enjoyed the regular income, the company pension and occasional corporate perks, they were slightly less comfortable with the chief method by which their employer was actually catching the fish it sold: ie with huge nets (aka “purse seining”).
After years working in the industry and constantly pressing (unsuccessfully) for a sustainable alternative, they finally decided enough was enough, and err…jumped ship.
They felt the industry was hiding from the realities of intensive purse seine fishing and continuing to ignore the fact that more responsible methods exist, such as pole and line. The problem with net fishing (by far the most common fishing practice) is that it endangers marine life by catching other fish and marine animals like turtles and sharks.
It’s a totally non-discriminatory method – you just chuck a massive net out to sea and scoop up whatever’s there on the day. You sift through it all to get to the tuna and dump the unwanted corpses of your extravagant fishing spree.
Fast forward to 2009 and a bowl of moules et frites in Chester - where 'The Reel Fish Company' was born. Bryn and Angela set up their office at Bryn’s home, and basically started calling the UK supermarkets, hooking up (the fishing puns end here folks) with their old contacts in the industry to drum up interest.
“The supermarkets totally got the idea of a tuna brand which would be pole & line fished, and never from nets,” says Angela, “and they hadn't even seen a single can at this point. So we just thought: go for it!”
“Then came the challenge of catching some, canning it and bringing it into the UK,” adds Bryn. “Searching for a credible fishery to provide traceable pole and line fish proved very difficult at first. There are plenty of countries around the globe claiming to fish by pole and line but the Maldives is the only one which doesn't allow purse seiners into its waters.”
This got them thinking about the whole value chain with tuna and they quickly realised that the benefits of Maldivian fish were not only to the eco-system but to the fishermen, families and local processors. It was literally better for everyone!
And so you have it - great quality, sustainable tuna at no extra cost – now available at a supermarket near you!
Bryn and Angela are now two very small fish in a big sea, but that doesn’t stop them having big ideas! Not content with just selling their own Reel Fish products, they would love to see the industry stop fishing tuna with nets altogether. Their experience and uncompromising business ethic has gained them respect throughout the supply chain – from the fisherman whose livelihoods are improved by investment in their industry, to the supermarkets who choose to sell their products.
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