Greenpeace: Supermarket Demonstrations Possible

Three days after releasing reports ranking U.S. and Canadian retailers by their sustainable seafood purchasing policies and urging them to stop selling species on its "red list," Greenpeace is watching "closely" to see how retailers react to the reports, says Greenpeace spokesman John Hocevar.

"[Though] many supermarkets [chains] have focused their sustainability initiatives in other areas, such as reducing their waste streams or their climate footprint, several seemed genuinely unaware of the need to address seafood," he says. "But now that ignorance is no longer the problem, we will be looking for retailers to take action."

Asked whether Greenpeace plans to hold demonstrations at supermarkets to publicize the reports, Hocevar replied: "We are not going to promise anyone that we won't be showing up at their doorstep."

The reports are part of a sustainable seafood campaign Greenpeace launched earlier this year. After introducing a similar campaign in Europe, Greenpeace activists protested at supermarkets, unfurling banners, locking frozen seafood cases and defacing seafood products, Gavin Gibbons, director of media relations for the National Fisheries Institute, told SeaFood Business earlier this week.

Ocean Trust distributed an e-mail today directing recipients to the Reston, Va.-based non-profit's Web site,, which contains information on the status of global seafood stocks that retailers can use to field customer inquiries triggered by the Greenpeace reports.

"Resource management should take place in the ocean, not on the store shelf, and the science must come from an open peer-review process linked to national and regional management organizations with expertise in these fisheries," says Thor Lassen, president of Ocean Trust. "One of the challenges is in understanding and tracking the science on status of stocks. Ocean Trust has prepared sustainability profiles on species like sea bass, orange roughy, tuna and mahimahi to help companies monitor and address public interest in seafood sustainability."


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