Fisheries Are a Disaster -- Does Your Supermarket Carry Sustainable Seafood?
We all know that the world's fisheries are a disaster—poorly managed, illegal fishing is rampant, and stocks that are not already near full depletion are declining rapidly.
If you're still buying fish, how does all this translate to what you buy at your local supermarket? Check out a supermarket scorecard from Greenpeace [PDF] for a start to answering that question. The latest version was just released last month and gives most of the big major chain supermarkets a ranking for how well they score in terms of supplying sustainably-sourced seafood.
Some stores are taking a more proactive approach and might be a little more forthcoming about their specific course of action to sourcing sustainable seafood, like Publix, a big chain in the south. The Miami Herald reports, "More than 300 seafood items sold at Publix stores will soon come under a new grading scale based on sustainability and other environmental standards." However, the story continues, "rather than boycott any suppliers in the lower categories, Publix officials said they'll apply pressure on the fishery to improve their practices. If the fishery doesn't improve over time, Publix will stop buying a given stock from them."
Abstaining from an industry that is wholesale unsustainable is probably the safest choice in terms of the environment, but if you're going to eat fish, it's worth your time to look a little more in-depth at where your own supplies come from.