Changing your business to sustainable food

Towards sustainable seafood policies

Page - September 24, 2008
Greenpeace is currently working with retailers to motivate them to develop and implement policies for sourcing sustainable seafood.

Shelve with fish, Austria.

The campaign began in the UK in 2005, and retailers such as Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, as well as suppliers like Young’s Bluecrest, are now leaders in the sustainable seafood movement. The campaign has since spread to France, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway Spain, Canada and the USA. Ranking lists show which retailers are serious about taking care of the future of our oceans. The leading retailers are taking action to improve the sustainability of fisheries worldwide – a strong contrast to the inaction by our governments on this issue over the past few decades.

Many retailers have begun by removing species from their shelves that are listed on national Greenpeace seafood red lists. These red lists show the key species sold in each country that have a high risk of being sourced unsustainably – from overfished stocks and by destructive fishing methods, or from poor aquaculture practices.

In parallel, the leading retailers are developing sustainable seafood sourcing policies that are based on three key principles: remove the worst, support the best, and change the rest. In this way, retailers stop sourcing from the most destructive and wasteful fisheries, begin sourcing from the most sustainable fisheries, and help those fisheries that fall somewhere in between to improve their practices by providing funding, calling for better management, and supporting research.