Whole Foods promotes U.S.-caught albacore

The Western Fishboat Owners Association (WFOA) on Wednesday announced that it has teamed up with Whole Foods Market to promote U.S.-caught albacore tuna throughout August.

The partnership will be launched at the Bite of Oregon event in Portland, Ore., on 6 August. Matt Talavera, Whole Foods’ executive chef in the Northwest, has developed special albacore recipes for the event and will also use the opportunity to educate consumers about the natural foods retailer’s sustainable seafood program.

This is the third consecutive year that Whole Foods has highlighted sustainable albacore caught by members of the Redding, Calif.-based WFOA, which represents about 400 fishing vessels and related businesses on the West Coast.

WFOA troll-caught albacore received Marine Stewardship Council certification in late March. The group is working to increase albacore sales at MSC-certified retailers, including Whole Foods, to maximize the benefit of obtaining the certification.

“We want U.S. consumers to know that there is plenty of local, sustainably fished tuna available, and presenting our albacore at Whole Foods is a great way to do that,” said WFOA Executive Director Wayne Heikkila. “With economic conditions worsening in Europe, it is more important than ever to increase our market share at home.”

The majority of albacore landed in California, Oregon and Washington is destined for the Japanese and European markets.

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