Greenpeace doesn’t let Canada off the hook

Greenpeace isn’t letting up on Canadian retailers.

After giving the world’s largest retailer a failing score of 1 out of 10 in its “Out of Stock, Out of Excuses” report ranking Canada’s top supermarket chains according to their sustainable seafood purchasing policies, Greenpeace activists on Friday protested at a Wal-Mart store in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The report was re-released in late May.

The activists demonstrated in front of the store and canvassed inside with a banner that read, “Save Seafood, Do Better,” based on Wal-Mart’s “Save Money, Live Better” slogan. They also handed out information to customers and pointed out red list seafood products.

“We want Wal-Mart customers to know that much of the seafood they buy from Wal-Mart comes from farming and fishing methods that are having devastating impacts on ocean life,” said Sarah King, Greenpeace oceans campaigner. “Supermarket chains should not sell seafood products, such as farmed salmon and yellowfin tuna, until they are sustainable. We’re asking customers to help us convince Wal-Mart to ensure both its customers and our oceans have fish for the future.”

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) has a long-standing campaign to encourage the Bay of Fundy salmon-farming industry to become more sustainable. CCNB says conditions have not improved and continue to threaten the region’s marine ecosystem.

The Wal-Mart protest is part of Greenpeace’s three-week confrontation campaign to persuade Canadian retailers to stop selling seafood it deems is harvested or farmed in an environmentally irresponsible manner. Activists, some of who have been arrested, have targeted numerous supermarkets in British Columbia and Ontario.

Other retailers ranked in Greenpeace’s report were Loblaw  with a score of 2.4, Sobeys (1.1), Overwaitea (0.9), Federated Co-Operatives (0.9), Costco (0.7) and Safeway (0.3).

Since the rankings were released, Overwaitea announced a partnership with SeaChoice to help it develop and implement a sustainable seafood purchasing policy.

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