AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market announced plans to discontinue red-rated wild-caught seafood beginning on Earth Day, April 22.
Whole Foods’ decision to eliminate red-rated seafood — species deemed by the Blue Ocean Institute or Monterey Bay Aquarium to be overfished or not sustainably sourced — comes a year ahead of its 2013 deadline, the retailer noted in a release.
“We are now able to offer more sustainable seafood choices than ever before, and we are thrilled that our suppliers have worked with us so swiftly to find high-quality green- and yellow-rated seafood so we could not only meet, but beat our deadline,” said David Pilat, Whole Foods Market’s global seafood buyer, in a press release.
“This shift allows us to promote and highlight fisheries that use responsible fishing methods and source from areas where fish are most abundant and fisheries are well-managed.”
Among the seafood that will disappear from Whole Foods' shelves are Atlantic halibut, grey sole and skate.
Whole Foods noted that it primarily uses the nonprofit Marine Stewardship Council’s certification eco-label to indicate seafood sustainability, but also uses the Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “green” and “yellow” ratings for fish not MSC-certified.
In addition, Whole Foods announced its first Fishmonger Face-Off on June 16 where 11 Whole Foods fishmongers will compete at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival for the top fishmonger title.
“Our passionate fishmongers are excellent at helping navigate our shoppers toward the best environmental choices. They stand ready to assist with cooking tips and recipe ideas and can cut your fish to order,” said Pilat.