Plundering the Oceans

by Michelle Frey

June 18, 2008

It’s no secret, I hate grocery shopping. It has turned into a weekly chore that I dread and try to get through as quickly as I possibly can. I know I need food to eat for the week, but there are ultimately too many food choices for me to make and too many people cluttering the aisles.

As a consumer, buying up products at the supermarket, I have a say in what kind of products do well or fail miserably. And, now a new Greenpeace report shines a light on how seafood purchases do just that. If supermarkets sell endangered fish, we buy these poor fish and the need to continue fishing for them continues.

It’s amazing how much seafood sales affect the oceans. Greenpeace put together a red list of fish that are in jeopardy. By encouraging supermarkets to keep these fish off the shelves, the oceans can become healthier and more robust. But, I’m sure that’s not an easy task. Supermarkets rely on the bottom line and need to stay profitable.

This is where us consumers can flex our muscles! Even if you hate grocery shopping, like I do, you can pass up the red list fish next time you’re at the supermarket. You can even badger the supermarket manager each time you visit to encourage them to stop selling seafood that is damaging the oceans. It’s worth a try.

Another cool thing I noticed on the Greenpeace site was the ability to check out (pun intended) how your supermarket stacked up in their new report. They looked at what kind of seafood each supermarket sold and how sustainable their purchasing practices were. It looks like all the stores failed, but some failed less miserably than others did.

The oceans seem so vast and limitless. But, when I hear about the destruction that’s going on, I wonder what the heck can I do to help! And, now I’ve found at least one way I can contribute to promoting healthier oceans and a more sustainable future.



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