NFI Warns of Greenpeace Demonstrations at Supermarkets

The National Fisheries Institute is warning U.S. retailers to be prepared for Greenpeace demonstrations publicizing the reports it released yesterday evaluating U.S. and Canadian retailers' sustainable seafood purchasing policies.

The reports are part of a sustainable seafood campaign the eco-activist group 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, says Gavin Gibbons, NFI's director of media relations. In March, they targeted numerous Swedish supermarkets.

"As evidenced by prior campaigns, Greenpeace often follows up these reports with direct action," NFI cautioned in an e-mail to its members today. "We expect Greenpeace to protest and/or vandalize U.S. grocery stores that did not rate well on its sustainability survey."

In yesterday's report "Carting Away the Oceans: How Grocery Stores are Emptying the Seas," Greenpeace ranked 20 U.S. retailers according to their sustainable seafood purchasing policies. Supervalu, Trader Joe's, Meijer, H.E. Butt, Price Chopper and Publix were at the bottom of the list, while Whole Foods Market, Ahold USA, Harris Teeter, Wegmans, Wal-Mart and Target were at the top.

Greenpeace also targeted Canada's eight largest supermarket chains - Loblaws, Sobey's, Metro, Wal-Mart, Costco, Safeway, Overwaitea and Federated Cooperatives - for failing to implement adequate sustainable seafood purchasing policies in its report "Out of Stock: Supermarkets and the Future of Seafood."

According to NFI, the U.S. report garnered minimal mainstream media attention in its first day, but the Canadian press picked up on the Canadian report.

Greenpeace is calling on retailers to stop selling species on its "red list" - including Alaska pollock, Atlantic cod, Atlantic salmon, Atlantic sea scallops, hoki, swordfish and bigeye, bluefin and yellowfin tuna - because it says they are unsustainably or destructively fished or farmed.

The group is working to devote 40 percent of world's oceans to marine reserves, where commercial fishing would be prohibited.


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