Greenpeace Urges Trader Joe's to Stop Selling Endangered Fish, Help Save Oceans

Feature story - July 2, 2009
Two days following the release of its third sustainable seafood scorecard profiling major supermarket retailers, Greenpeace launched a website spoofing Trader Joe’s and visited company stores in San Francisco where activists protested the company's lack of sustainable seafood policies and purchasing practices.

Trader Joes came in 17th out of the 20 stores evaluated in Greenpeace's latest analysis of seafood sustainability policies at major supermarket chains. That is the worst ranking of any national store.

Dressed in Hawaiian shirts similar to those worn by Trader Joe's employees, the Greenpeace activists visited local stores in San Francisco accompanied by two oversized Orange Roughy. Orange Roughy is one of 22 "red-listed" or endangered species listed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Scientific studies indicate that the species has a lifespan of up to 149 years. Once on site, activists erected a voting booth and asked customers to "vote for sustainable seafood" before Greenpeace presented Trader Joe's with a mock citation.

As part of its global campaign to ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems, Greenpeace is urging supermarkets to remove the most at-risk species from their shelves. Supermarkets can 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.