When shopping at the seafood counter of your local grocery store, it may appear that the old cliché 'plenty more fish in the sea' seems true. Reality is, two-thirds of the world's marine stocks are fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted. Healthy oceans are vital to our life on Earth. The good news is that more than likely, your local Canadian grocery store is paying attention! The currents are shifting in corporate social responsibility, with most retailers in Canada committing to a sustainable seafood policy of some type.
(Photo credit: Safeway Inc.)The latest was last month: Canada Safeway, Western Canada's largest grocery chain, announced their Sustainable Seafood Policy, created in partnership with SeaChoice, Canada's national sustainable seafood program. At the core of Safeway's sustainable seafood policy is their commitment that by 2015, all fresh and frozen seafood will be sourced from sustainable and traceable sources, or be in a credible improvement project. Read the press release here.
Canada Safeway has already removed a number of SeaChoice red-listed species from their seafood counters including Atlantic halibut, orange roughy, Chilean sea bass and shark. In addition to their fresh and frozen commitment, the company has chosen to discontinue its private label, canned yellowfin tuna. But the work doesn't stop there! SeaChoice and Canada Safeway are currently undergoing an in-depth analysis of the company's seafood offerings and will be working together on an aggressive workplan to meet their 2015 goal.
SeaChoice guides and supports our retail partners through the various steps of crafting a seafood policy, educating suppliers and staff, ensuring traceability and labeling and committing to a timeline. SeaChoice also works with retail partners to encourage policymakers to improve and develop laws and regulations that ensure a sustainable future for seafood stocks and protect ocean health.
As a SeaChoice member group, Living Oceans looks forward to updating you with the milestones and progress made by Canada Safeway towards their 2015 goal. Stay tuned
SEND SAFEWAY A 'THANK YOU' MESSAGE! While much remains to be done, it is important that seafood companies know that you care. Click here to join us in congratulating Safeway for one big step toward healthy oceans!
Kelly Roebuck is the Sustainable Seafood Campaign Manager for Living Oceans Society. For more info on how you can make sustainable seafood choices, please visit the Sustainable Seafood section of the Living Oceans website.