Whole Foods has to stop selling any seafood it does not consider sustainable.
Starting Sunday, gray sole and skate will no longer appear in the grocery chain’s fish cases. Atlantic cod will be sold only if it is not caught by trawlers, which drag nets across the ocean floor.
Whole Foods says that it is doing its part to address the problem of overfishing and help depleted fish stocks recover. It is using ratings set by the Blue Ocean Institute, a conservation group, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. They are based on factors including how abundant a species is, how quickly it reproduces and whether the catch method damages its habitat.
The company had planned to stop selling “red-rated” fish next year but moved up its deadline. The other fish it will no longer carry are Atlantic halibut, octopus, sturgeon, tautog, turbot, imported wild shrimp, some species of rockfish, and tuna and swordfish caught in certain areas or by certain methods. (Whole Foods has already stopped selling orange roughy, shark, bluefin tuna, and most marlin.)
Whole Foods is not the first supermarket chain to limit the kind of seafood it sells in the name of sustainability. Last month, BJ’s Wholesale Club announced a plan to sell seafood only from suppliers “identified as sustainable or on track to meet sustainability standards by 2014.” Other chains are making similar moves.
Via The New York Times.