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Whole Foods Market announces sustainable initiative

FBR Staff Writer Published 15 April 2011

Whole Foods Market has announced that it will stop selling all red-rated swordfish and tuna at its seafood counters nationwide, as part of its initiative to replace them with sustainable seafood options.

The company said it has maintained a partnership with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and continues to source a range of MSC-certified products.

The latest addition to the company's seafood sustainability initiative provides shoppers with transparent information about the sustainability status of wild-caught seafood and features color-coded, science-based sustainability ratings for wild-caught seafood.

Whole Foods Market global seafood coordinator David Pilat said they source tuna and swordfish from green and yellow-rated fisheries such as those using handlines, which have low to no bycatch.

One of the new sources of green- and yellow-rated tuna comes from the Maldives in the Indian Ocean where fishermen catch tuna traditionally using a low-impact pole and line.

Whole Foods Market's color-coded ratings make it easy for shoppers to make informed choices at the seafood case. Green or 'best choice' ratings indicate a species is relatively abundant and is caught in environmentally-friendly ways; yellow or 'good alternative' ratings mean some concerns exist with the species' status or catch methods; and red or 'avoid' ratings mean that for now the species is suffering from overfishing, or that current fishing methods harm other marine life or habitats.