Fish – Save Some for the Future

A giant grouper.
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Greenpeace, venerable Earth protector and sometimes corporate basher, has released a second edition of its Seafood Sustainability Scorecard this week. The scorecard rates the larger supermarket chains in the US with respect to their seafood sourcing practices, focusing on sustainability, transparency, and support for initiatives.

As would be expected Whole Foods ranks #1, but with a D minus score. Surprisingly, Target is #3, and Wal-Mart is #5, proving you don’t need to be a premium retailer to sell eco-friendly fish. There is still tremendous room for improvement, but Greenpeace has seen change for the better in the last 6 months.

What you need to know:

The World fish stocks are being depleted at alarming rates by overfishing. Some fish species, such as blue-fin tuna, are red-listed. This means that the species may become extinct in a few years if we don’t give them a break. Unfortunately for blue-fin tuna, it is a sushi delicacy and as such fetches a high price in fish markets, making it irresistible for fishermen and fishmongers. Sustainability can wait, pass the soy sauce please.

The only way to reverse course, is by drastically reducing the demand for red listed fish. Greenpeace wants the consumer to know what fish are endangered, and which retailers are actually sourcing along sustainable

What to do at the supermarket:

Start by shopping for fish at retailers that scored high on the Greenpeace list. Whole Foods is the number 1 large retailer, but pulls only a 5 out of 10. Smaller regional retailers in your state may score far better. For example, New Leaf Community Markets, with 5 locations in Northern California, gets an 8.

Secondly, refuse to buy or consume red-list species. In addition, ask questions at your supermarket; get them to know you care about the source of your fish.

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