target store front

Target Corp. on Thursday unveiled that it will sell only sustainable and traceable seafood in its more than 1,760 stores in 49 states by 2015.

The Minneapolis-based big-box retailer has partnered with Santa Cruz, Calif.-based NGO FishWise to achieve its goal, which applies to all of its fresh and frozen seafood products.

Target defined sustainable and traceable seafood as products that are “caught or raised in an environmentally sensitive manner and maintain Target’s business needs without jeopardizing the affected ecosystems.” Working with FishWise, the retailer said it will continue to encourage the fisheries and farms from which it sources seafood to participate in improvement projects resulting in certification, engage suppliers to identify the most responsible seafood options for its customers, and transition its Market Pantry and Archer Farms brands toward more sustainable seafood products.

Target’s announcement comes less than two years after it announced that it is eliminating all farmed salmon from its fresh, frozen and smoked seafood offerings. It has also pledge not sell Chilean sea bass and orange roughy.

“When Target eliminated farmed salmon in favor of wild-caught salmon last year, we took the first step in a long-term commitment to improving the sustainability of our seafood assortment,” said Shawn Gensch, Target’s VP of marketing, who oversees the company’s sustainability programs. “As we continue toward 100 percent sustainable seafood, guests can shop with confidence knowing that Target’s seafood products are both healthy for their family and environmentally responsible.”

Added Tobias Aguirre, executive director of FishWise: “Target has shown itself to be a leader in sustainable seafood. This new and deeper 2015 commitment should both serve as an example for the rest of the industry and result in real change on the water.”

Target is the nation’s second largest retailer behind Walmart, with annual sales of nearly USD 70 billion.

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