Austin, TX-based Whole Foods Market, which bills itself as “the world’s leader in natural and organic foods”, announced on Earth Day that the chain’s seafood departments will no longer carry “red-rated” wild-caught fish. According to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Seafood Guide, a red rating designates fish that should be avoided as “they come from sources that are overfished or are caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment.
According to the company’s web site, Whole Foods long ago eliminated several overfished species, such as orange roughy, shark and bluefine tuna, and beat their self-imposed deadline for banning additional depleted stocks by 2013:
“We promised to eliminate all wild-caught seafood from red-rated fisheries and we did it—ahead of our deadline. We’ve always been on the leading edge with our commitment to responsibly caught seafood. Years ago we stopped selling species that were extremely depleted in the oceans, such as orange roughy, shark and bluefin tuna.
We will no longer sell the following red-rated species:
- Atlantic Halibut
- Grey Sole (Atlantic)
- Octopus (all)
- Skate Wing
- Swordfish (from specific areas & catch methods rated “red”)
- Trawl-caught Atlantic Cod
- Tuna (from specific areas & catch methods rated “red”)
- Imported wild shrimp
- Rockfish (only certain species)”
For more information about the Whole Foods announcement, read the “No more Red-Rated Wild Seafood in Our Stores” story on the company’s blog.