Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, is on track to stop selling all red-rated swordfish and tuna at its seafood counters nationwide by this Earth Day, April 22.
Last September, Whole Foods Market announced this deadline for sourcing swordfish and tuna more sustainably as part of a larger initiative to move toward fully-sustainable seafood departments. For more than a decade, the company has maintained a strong partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world's leading certification body for sustainable, wild-caught seafood, and continues to source a range of MSC-certified products.
The latest addition to Whole Foods Market's seafood sustainability initiative provides shoppers with transparent information about the sustainability status of non-MSC certified, wild-caught seafood and features color-coded, science-based sustainability ratings for wild-caught seafood created by partners Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium.
"The sustainability status information has opened a terrific dialogue at the seafood counter,” says David Pilat, Whole Foods Market global seafood coordinator. “Shoppers are flexing their buying power to prompt change and help reverse trends of overfishing, exploitation and depletion in so many fisheries. Whole Foods Market is proud of our partnerships with Blue Ocean Institute, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and with our shoppers, buyers, fishermen and fishery managers. We are thrilled to have found fisheries that can provide better environmental choices to support the ecological health of our oceans and the abundance of marine life for generations to come."
Whole Foods Market's skilled seafood buyers source tuna and swordfish from green- and yellow-rated fisheries such as those using handlines (a fishing method that uses a single baited line to catch one fish at a time), which have low to no bycatch.
For a video demonstrating a day boat fishing using handlines, visit youtube.com/watch?v=jVi5SRP2Iqs.
Source: Whole Foods Market