By Chris Irvine
Published: 2:05PM BST 07 Jun 2009
Julian Metcalfe, the chain’s co-founder, has removed tuna and cucumber sandwiches, while he has also banned endangered bluefin tuna from sushi boxes sold at Pret and its sister outlet Itsu.
His ban comes after watching environmental documentary The End of the Line, which describes how modern fishing is destroying the oceans’ ecosystems.
After watching the film, which is having its general release on Monday in line with World Ocean Day, Mr Metcalfe contacted the film’s producers and said: “Much as a result of your film, we took tuna out of Pret sushi entirely. No tuna in the box at all… so more in the sea, where they belong.”
He continued: “We no longer sell the tuna and cucumber sandwich at Pret. We do an Alaskan salmon, which is sustainable. Both my companies will do everything they can to speed up the process by which we only buy sustainable fish.
“Itsu is just about to sign a deal which provides only pole and line [fish] and traces each delivery to each boat. Neither Itsu or Pret would touch bluefin tuna.”
Pret’s ban comes as celebrities such as Elle Macpherson and Stephen Fry condemned Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Nobu, for serving bluefin tuna.
Following the release of the documentary, a number of celebrities including Jemima Khan, Sting and Charlize Theron wrote to the eatery, partly owned by Robert de Niro, and said they could no longer “dine with a clear conscience” as long as the restaurant continued to serve the fish, a species considered to be as endangered as the panda or tiger.
Celebrity chefs including Gordon Ramsay have also imposed bans on bluefin tuna at their restaurants.