Target Charts New Course for Sustainable Seafood

Company Becomes First Major Seafood Retailer To Eliminate Farmed Salmon In All Stores

Media release - January 26, 2010
Citing the significant environmental degradation caused by salmon farming, Target announced today that it will discontinue sales of all farmed salmon products in its stores. Salmon is second only to shrimp in seafood purchases in the United States and the announcement is a first by a major seafood retailer.

"Greenpeace applauds Target's decision to replace farmed salmon with wild Alaskan salmon, a relatively sustainable and healthy product, throughout its operations," said Casson Trenor, Greenpeace's Senior Markets Campaigner. "The company's decision to address this issue represents an incredible willingness to challenge old paradigms in favor of sound science and environmental preservation, as well as provide real market value to its customers. We have no doubt that the leadership will set a new standard for the seafood industry; one we hope is echoed by other retailers."

Target is one of 20 seafood retailers profiled in Greenpeace's sustainable seafood guide, Carting Away the Oceans, which is published several times a year based on an analysis of sustainable seafood policies and practices among major retailers. In the most recent edition, Target had moved to 4th place. Read the report 

Of the 20 largest supermarket chains in the United States, nine have still made no visible effort to increase the sustainability of their seafood operations and continue to ignore scientific warnings about the crisis facing global fisheries and the marine environment. These include: Aldi, Costco, Giant Eagle, H.E.B., Meijer, Price Chopper, Publix, Trader Joe's, and Winn Dixie. Despite the progress of many companies, all continue to stock "red list" seafood like orange roughy, swordfish, or Chilean sea bass - some of the world's most critically imperiled species. While several retailers are working to make improvements, none of the companies featured in the report can yet guarantee that their seafood is legal, much less sustainable.

To help ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems, Greenpeace advocates the creation of a worldwide network of marine reserves and fisheries management that is based on a precautionary, ecosystem-based approach. Today, supermarkets can help the oceans and meet consumer demand for sustainable products by refusing to sell seafood from fisheries that:

  • exploit endangered, vulnerable and/or protected species, or species with poor stock status;
  • cause habitat destruction and/or lead to ecosystem alterations;
  • cause negative impacts on other, non-target species;
  • are unregulated, unreported, illegal or managed poorly, and
  • cause negative impacts on local, fishing dependent communities.

VVPR info: Jane Kochersperger, Media Officer, (202) 680-3798 cell; Casson Trenor, Senior Markets Campaigner, (512)-577-3868

Notes: Photos: http://comms.greenpeaceusa.org/20100120salmon/ Contact: Bob Meyers, Photo Editor, (202) 319-2453;

Topics