From Green Right Now Reports
Whole Foods Market has launched the first in-store color-coded sustainability-rating program for wild-caught seafood and announced it will phase out all red-rated species by Earth Day 2013.
The partnership with Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium makes Whole Foods Market the first national grocer to provide a comprehensive sustainability rating system for wild-caught seafood.
Blue Ocean and Monterey Bay Aquarium are well known for their science-based seafood programs. Both organizations evaluate species and the fishing fleets that catch them, based on life history, abundance, habitat impacts, fishery management practices and bycatch.
Store officials said the rating system will use three colors:
- Green or “best choice” ratings indicate that a species is relatively abundant and caught in environmentally-friendly ways
- Yellow or “good alternative” means some concerns exist with the species’ status or catch methods;
- Red or “avoid” means that for now, the species is suffering from overfishing, or that current fishing methods harm other marine life or habitats
Whole Foods Market said the new program expands upon the partnership that it has had with the Marine Stewardship Council since 1999, and the new ratings apply only to non-MSC-certified fish. The MSC is the world’s leading certification body for sustainable wild-caught seafood, and its blue ecolabel identifies wild-caught seafood products that are MSC-certified.
The company’s new wild-caught seafood rating program and partnerships will complement its existing farmed seafood standards. Farmed seafood at Whole Foods Market carries the “Responsibly Farmed” logo to indicate that it meets high standards.
From Whole Foods Market: