Recently the major North American supermarket chain Safeway announced it will no longer buy or sell Antarctic toothfish caught from the Ross Sea in Antarctica.
The company states; “Safeway has pledged to not buy or sell toothfish (Chilean sea bass) harvested from the Ross Sea and encourages Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) member countries to designate the entire Ross Sea as an MPA”.
Safeway is one of the five largest grocery chains in North America, operating more than 1,700 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. You can check out the Safeway seafood sustainability policy here. It’s great to see Safeway join Wegmans who made a similar commitment not to sell seafood from the Ross Sea and supporting the creation of a no-take marine reserve there.
When I was in New York I went to the New Fulton Road seafood market and saw that Antarctic Toothfish would enter the market under that name but was then sold on the street as Chilean sea bass – making it difficult to distinguish for the consumers. Having the supermarkets step up and make this stand is probably the best way to put commercial pressure on the companies fishing in the Ross Sea. Thumbs up to Safeway and Wegmans and to the hardwork of the folk at Greenpeace USA for instigating this.
You can learn more about the Antarctic toothfish by checking out my interview with Clive Evans, a toothfish physiologist from the University of Auckland.