Whole Foods to stop selling unsustainable seafood

Starting Earth Day, high-end grocery chain Whole Foods Market will stop selling wild-caught seafood plucked from depleted waters or captured through unsustainable methods.

The Austin, Texas-based grocer will no longer stock fish and other seafood that is “red-rated.” The label, determined by the nonprofits Blue Ocean Institute and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, indicates the species has been overfished or that current capture methods harm other marine life or habitats, the company said in a statement.

Some of the “red-rated” fish include Atlantic halibut, gray sole and skate. Whole Foods will offer sustainable alternatives such as Pacific halibut, harpoon-caught swordfish and Atlantic flounder.

The grocery chain said it would continue to carry green-rated or yellow-rated seafood. A green label indicates the fish is plentiful and captured in “environmentally friendly ways,” while the yellow means there are some concerns about species’ numbers or capture methods, the company said.

David Pilat, the company’s global seafood buyer, said in a statement that shoppers will now have “the peace of mind that they are doing their part to ensure fish for future generations.”


“Together with our shoppers and vendor partners, we hope to spark a sea change to reverse overfishing and reduce bycatch,” Pilat added.


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