Cod, lies and videotape

Feature story - 22 September, 2006
Two Swedish supermarkets, ICA and COOP, have been caught red-handed selling Baltic cod despite our recent revelation that a third of it is illegally caught. To make matters worse, ICA is even running an advertisement campaign to sell Baltic cod.

Activists mark Baltic cod products at an ICA store with "STOLEN FISH" stickers.

Volunteers have confronted staff and placed "STOLEN FISH" stickers on products in the stores, and handed out flyers to alert customers that their fish might be pirate bounty.

ICA is the only big Swedish supermarket that has not agreed to stop stocking frozen Baltic cod. It is also one of only two supermarkets, the other being COOP, that still sells fresh Baltic cod.  In fact ICA is blatantly advertising it in their catalogues (see graphic).

Baltic cod in ICA catalogue

(C) ICA AB, Sweden

Other large supermarket chains in Sweden such as Axfood (Hemköp/Willys), Lidl, Netto Sweden and Bergendahlsgruppen (City Gross, AG:s, Eko) have all declared they will stop stocking Baltic cod, both frozen and fresh, since our announcement that a third of it is illegally caught.  This is an increasing problem in the Baltic since these unregulated catches come on top of quotas that are already way above what scientists recommend, pushing the cod stocks to the brink of collapse.

Oceans campaigner Frode Pleym, recently having been on board the Arctic Sunrise and seeing the situation for himself, said, "ICA and COOP must stop stocking all

Baltic cod immediately.  We found fresh Baltic cod filets in COOP's stores, both in Malmö and Lund, and they have failed their customers."  Our activists gathered video evidence of COOP cheerfully and openly selling fresh Baltic cod despite the large amount of media attention in Sweden and the positive actions of their industry counterparts. 

Video: activists find Baltic cod at COOPsupermarket


The anti-pirate work taking place on land and at sea is part of our demand for Marine Reserves in the Baltic.  A network of Marine Reserves would make it much easier to control pirate fishing rather than the patchwork and ineffective controls in place now.

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