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San Diego Retailers Scored On Seafood Sustainable Practices

Greenpeace issued its fourth seafood sustainability scorecard Wednesday. The scorecard ranks how well large supermarket chains are doing when it comes to how they buy and sell seafood.

The "Carting Away the Oceans" report gives passing scores to several supermarket chains for the first time, including Trader Joe's.

Casson Trenor with Greenpeace said Trader Joe's had been among the worst in previous rankings.

But he said the company has taken steps to develop a sustainable seafood operation.

"Trader Joe's has made a public commitment to its customers saying 'look, we realize that there's a connection between our sale of seafood and the environment,'" said Trenor.

Trenor said another major chain which sells a large amount of fish, Costco, is going in the opposite direction.

He said efforts to talk with the company about seafood practices the past three years have come up empty.

"Costco has never said word one about sustainable seafood," said Trenor. "Nothing."

He said Costco is one of several of the 20 largest supermarket chains in the United States making no visible effort to increase the sustainability of their seafood operations.

Trenor said Supervalu, which includes Albertson's supermarkets, is another.

The supermarket chain Target moved up from fourth place to receive top ranking in this year's scorecard, while Whole Foods maintained third place from last year.

Trenor said seafood is the last wild-caught major commodity traded on Earth.

But he said to ensure sustainability of that resource, supermarkets should refuse 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.