Our oceans - the world's last great wilderness - are in crisis. Destructive fishing practices, lack of marine reserves and global warming are threatening the survival of fisheries, fishing communities, and the health of marine ecosystems. Once believed to be an inexhaustible resource, our oceans are quickly being depleted of important fish species.
Carting Away the Oceans
Greenpeace released a new report showing that most U.S. supermarkets continue to purchase seafood with little consideration for the health of fish stocks they sell and even less concern for where or how seafood was caught, or for the effects on the wider marine environment.
Supermarkets feed the growing appetite for seafood in the U.S. and ring up approximately $16 billion each year in seafood sales. Consumers buy half their seafood at supermarkets, yet as this new report reveals few supermarkets meet this consumer demand with any regard for the marine environment.
Greenpeace reviewed the sustainable seafood policies and practices of 20 top U.S. supermarkets. The research for this report began with a review of publicly available information on supermarket's seafood policies - supermarkets' websites, corporate social responsibility reports, annual reports and press statements, and by surveying the seafood available on supermarket shelves, fish counters and freezers. Supermarkets were then given the opportunity to update and correct any information through written comments and in meetings with Greenpeace.
Supermarkets were scored on their overall policy on sustainable seafood, active support for sustainability initiatives, labeling policies, public promotion of sustainable seafood and the Red List seafood they sell.
See how the supermarkets measured up
Greenpeace research for this report also revealed that, in practice, all surveyed supermarkets sell significant numbers of Red List seafood despite their stated intentions to develop sustainable seafood policies or their support for sustainability initiatives.
You can explore the fish species on our red list and learn why they are in trouble by visiting our interactive fish fact sheets.
If you're wondering how your supermarket stacked up, you can find out on our website. Once you select the state you live in, our site will bring up all the supermarkets in your community and you can see the rankings for yourself.
Give it a try
As a consumer, you can help support seafood sustainability and ocean protection. Flex your power as a consumer. Tell the largest U.S. supermarket retailers to adopt sustainable seafood policies, stop selling destructively fished seafood, and provide informative labeling so customers, like us, can choose the most sustainable seafood and avoid the most imperiled fish. Don't delay, ocean protection starts with all of us.
Tell Supermarkets, No More Fishy Business!