This seems like a good move by Whole Foods:
Standing on the deck of his rusted steel trawler, Naz Sanfilippo fumed about the latest bad news for New England fishermen: a decision by Whole Foods to stop selling any seafood it does not consider sustainable.
Starting Sunday, gray sole and skate, common catches in the region, will no longer appear in the grocery chain’s artfully arranged fish cases. Atlantic cod, a New England staple, will be sold only if it is not caught by trawlers, which drag nets across the ocean floor, a much-used method here.
“It’s totally maddening,” Mr. Sanfilippo said. “They’re just doing it to make all the green people happy.”
Whole Foods says that, in fact, it is doing its part to address the very real problem of overfishing and help badly depleted fish stocks recover. It is using ratings set by the Blue Ocean Institute, a conservation group, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. They are based on factors including how abundant a species is, how quickly it reproduces and whether the catch method damages its habitat.***
Still, Whole Foods is only one buyer, and there will be “plenty of other market demand,” said Vito Giacalone, policy director for the Northeast Seafood Coalition, a trade group here.
“It’s the precedent and the message it sends out that’s really unfortunate,” said Mr. Giacalone, whose family runs a fish auction that sells to Whole Foods. “Whole Foods is a reputable, credible food source for a big community of people, and so when their headquarters makes this kind of statement, it’s not good for the industry.”
You know what else isn’t good for the industry? No fish.
BTW- if you are so inclined, there are apps from Monterey Bay Aquarium that you can use to help you determine what fish to buy when you are at the store.