4 Surprising Places You Should Never Buy Seafood From
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In defense of this event, Roger Berkowitz, the owner of Legal Seafood, said that "seafood assessments from the National Marine Fisheries and NOAA are done with trawlers, with broken pieces of equipment not quite giving accurate assessments... My mission is to get accurate science in front of people."
Right. Because, clearly, Legal Seafood is pro-science -- whereas all these fishery scientists that conduct stock assessments, and the environmental groups that use these scientific findings as the basis for their sustainability recommendations, well, they're obviously doing everything they can to obscure reality and to keep seafood consumers in the dark. Good thing we have Legal Seafood to feed us farmed tiger shrimp and show us the light.
The Nobu sushi empire is the fantastically successful joint venture of renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the Raging Bull himself, Robert De Niro, and several other partners. The chain boasts 24 locations that dot the most chic neighborhoods of many of the world's most glamorous cities, and a menu replete with dozens of price tags that would make the average recession-choked American both green with envy and red with rage.
Nobu sells a tremendous amount of endangered bluefin tuna, and despite repeated warnings about the looming commercial extinction of this majestic fish from a vast international amalgamation of scientists, conservation organizations, foodies, bloggers, aquaria, filmmakers, actors, and even a European prince, Nobu refuses to change its practices. There is even a documentary, The End of the Line (based on the excellent book by Charles Clover), that highlights the company's intransigence.
As a true leader in the sushi industry, Nobu must change its practices and embrace some modicum of corporate responsibility. If Nobu were to drop bluefin and adopt a sustainable business model, it would be in the interest of the environmental community to promote the restaurant and encourage consumers to patronize it.
The recalcitrance of the H.E. Butt Company is not an issue for consumers in most of North America, but in Texas and northern Mexico, H.E.B. is a force to be reckoned with. Regardless of its geographic restrictions, tens of thousands of consumers visit a H.E.B. grocery store on any given day -- and the company has managed to come in dead last in every seafood scorecard Greenpeace USA has ever released.
To make matters worse, while many other retailers are beginning to take steps toward sustainability by developing rigorous sourcing policies or partnering with environmental watchdogs like the Monterey Bay Aquarium or FishWise, H.E.B continues to sprint blindly ahead into the void, refusing to respond to any entreaties by the environmental or scientific communities to change its ways. Unsustainable species festoon the seafood section and transparency at point-of-sale is virtually nonexistent. At H.E.B., willful ignorance continues to be standard operating procedure.
Casson Trenor is senior markets campaigner with Greenpeace USA, where he spearheads the organization's efforts to hold restaurants and supermarkets accountable for their seafood sustainability practices and to help educate the public about the global fisheries crisis. He is the author of Sustainable Sushi .