If you haven’t heard already, Greenpeace and its supporters celebrated an amazing policy-change victory with Costco that will affect not only your food supply at the chain of discount-food markets, but the sustainable purchasing decisions of other giant retailers such as Wal-Mart and SUPERVALU.
In this monumental shift to sustainable buying practices, the supermarket giant red-listed 12 varieties of fish that are in danger of being fished to extinction if we don’t stop harvesting them at our current rate:
Seventy five percent of worldwide fisheries are fully- or over-fished, which means not only are we eating too much of the fish, but that the fishing practices in those regions is damaging the rest of the aquatic environment. Take traditional dredge-harvesting of scallops, which often live in beds on the ocean floor. Trawl nets are used for gathering the scallops and the by-catch (fish and other sea creatures caught in the huge trawl nets scraping the ocean floor) can include yellowtail, flounder, skates, monkfish, sea turtles, and undersized scallops. By-catch is usually left to die in the process.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch All Areas Guide to best choices, good alternatives and fish to avoid is available online or in this handy sustainable seafood app, so you don’t have to memorize all the fish you’re not supposed to eat. Seafood Watch also has a sushi guide, and if you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for sustainable restaurants, or ones whose menu items you know to be environmentally sustainable and friendly. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a restaurant program that lists environmentally responsible fishing and fish farming participants.
If you want to participate in swaying Wal-Mart, SUPERVALU and other large supermarket chains to purchase sustainable seafood, let your voice be heard via this Greenpeace letter and, “Tell Wal-Mart and SUPERVALU to clean up their act and save the oceans.”
Me, I’m going to go have an organic, free-range, from-a-happy-cow, grilled cheese sandwich for dinner.