Monday, December 29, 2008

How does your supermarket score on sustainable seafood?

Greenpeace has just issued new rankings for its Retail Seafood Sustainability Scorecard. The first scorecard was released June 2008. Says Greenpeace,"Supermarkets feed the growing appetite for seafood and ring up approximately $16 billion each year in seafood sales. Consumers buy half their seafood at supermarkets, yet as our report reveals, few supermarkets meet this consumer demand with any regard for the marine environment."

Says "The Food Section", "The new scorecard gives a "passing" grade to four supermarket chains -- Whole Foods, Ahold USA [includes Giant and Martins], Target, and Harris Teeter -- for scoring more than 40% on Greenpeace's scale (all 20 chains were given a failing grade last June). Trader Joe's was ranked the lowest (#17) of all of the national supermarket chains surveyed."

Two EASY things you can do:
  1. Take 5 minutes and write your grocer. Tell your grocer you want the store to only stock seafood that conserves ocean species -- I recommend that you ask the store to only stock the recommended fish from Seafood Watch. The easiest way is probably online -- find the customer feedback form online. Otherwise, ask for a customer feedback card at checkout.
  2. Choose your fish more carefully. And stick to it! I use the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch card -- I find it to be the easiest program to follow; they also now have a sushi card for eating out. Greenpeace has a Red List of fish to not purchase -- these are fish "species most in peril due to destructive or illegal fishing."

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