Pacific Northwest grocer resumes selling PNW Chinook salmon

Published on
September 3, 2020

Seattle, Washington-based PCC Community Markets says it will resume selling Chinook salmon from the Pacific Northwest, while protecting killer whales’ main food supply, as part of its new Chinook sourcing standard.

Developed in partnership with the National Fisheries Conservation Center, PCC said the new standard will protect Salish Sea southern Resident killer whales and the overall Chinook population.

In 2018, the 15-store natural grocery chain placed a moratorium on selling Pacific Northwest-sourced Chinook salmon.

“In the co-op’s continued effort to tackle this issue, PCC listened to feedback from treaty tribes, and marine conservation and fishery experts, concluding that the moratorium could be adjusted to better achieve its goal,” the retailer said in a press release.

Working with the NFCC, PCC developed a “more robust, science-based standard, which balances complex conservation issues with our commitment to supporting local producers,” PCC Vice President of Social and Environmental Responsibility Brenna Davis said.

“The partnership also strengthened our resolve to advocate for policies that address two major issues facing the Southern Residents – protecting Chinook habitat and addressing climate change,” Davis added.

The new standard is place-based, focusing on the location where the Chinook is caught, and requires strong evidence that fisheries are avoiding reducing prey supply for Southern Residents killer whales, PCC said.

In the new standard, fisheries will be given a rating of A, B, or C (with A being the best and so on) based on three categories: prey interception risk, stock risk, and knowledge risk.

PCC will only sell Chinook salmon from fisheries that receive an A in the prey interception risk category and an A or B in the stock and knowledge risk categories.

The co-op will also continue to support local fishers by selling other species of Pacific Northwest salmon, the retailer said. Its fresh and frozen raw seafood is responsibly sourced as defined by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.

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