Thai Union is the world’s largest canned tuna company dominating the market in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Thailand and other countries. Critical monitoring of the company is one of the spearheads of Greenpeace. The company is known for the most devastating environmental and human rights abuses in the industry, having been repeatedly linked to destructive fishing methods, human trafficking and even forced labor.
The story about Thai Union is more than just tuna. The fish is part of a complex but fragile ecosystem. Greenpeace was helped by artist Aaron Staples and they called the campaign ‘Not Just Tuna.
The artist made a number of drawings in the form of the great fish and its print in the system. Thousands of sharks, turtles and other unwanted species are caught and thrown away to die each year as a result of commercial tuna fishing. The art is an indictment of destructive fishing methods, working conditions and human rights violations.
By compounding these stories together, it creates a stronger impact. Obviously not all of these things are happening simultaneously on one vessel, but within the framework of the art people can witness it all at once and become aware of how big the issue is. It’s an accumulated way of looking at the issue instead of looking at individual circumstances.
Greenpeace content producer Ryan Schleeter wrote an excellent piece about this campaign and the art of Aaron Staples. Read it here.