Yesterday, Greenpeace-USA released a report criticizing supermarkets for buying unsustainable seafood. Greenpeace-Canada also released a similar report, which I spoke about this morning on CTV news. As I said in the interview, if we want sustainable seafood to become something more than just yuppie food, we’re going to have to affect behavior on a big scale and supermarkets (where, in Canada, for instance, two-thirds of seafood is sold) are one medium for doing this. One way to motivate supermarkets to change their buying behavior is through affecting their reputation with negative messaging. On the other hand, we must ask the question of why we are able to buy unsustainable seafood to begin with–and this ultimately is a failure of national and international governance.
In the U.S. report, Greenpeace ranked supermarkets according to their seafood procurement policies. Whole Foods did the best, though they only scored 36.5 out of 100. Some of the lowest ranking supermarkets include Price Chopper, Publix, and, rather surprisingly (or not, if you look closely at their seafood), Trader Joe’s (just saw Orange roughy for sale there). Yesterday, I spoke with Greenpeace’s John Hocevar who said the supermarket representatives seem to recognize that there is a problem and have not been vociferously against the report or its finding. In other words, they are over step one (denial) of the 12-step program in weaning the addiction to unsustainable seafood. Read more about the report and its findings here.