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Sustainable seafood: Grocery chains still falling short

Like seafood but worry about the impact on the world's fisheries? Greenpeace has just released an update of its sustainable seafood analysis for supermarket chains.

Whole Foods came in at the top, and Trader Joe's remains near the bottom.

In June, when the first analysis was done, all 20 of the leading U.S. chains failed, according to the national advocacy group. They're still not doing the right thing for the oceans, according to Greenpeace. All 20 supermarkets continue to sell destructively fished and overfished species. But several companies have begun developing and implementing sustainable seafood policies and practices, the group said today.

Eight companies "have demonstrated their commitment to improving their seafood sustainability by removing from sale some imperiled species such as orange roughy and sharks."

These are: Whole Foods, Ahold USA (brand names include Stop & Shop and Giant), Target, Wegmans, Safeway (Dominick's, Genuardi's, Randall's and Von's), Wal-Mart, A&P (The Food Emporium, Pathmark, Super Fresh, Waldbaums), and Price Chopper.

"While many supermarkets seek to green their image, the bottom line is that they are contributing to the crisis facing our oceans," Greenpeace's Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar, a marine biologist, said in a prepared statement. "The initial steps being taken to implement sustainability policies and practices are the right ones, but bigger strides are needed to prevent the collapse of our marine ecosystems."

The full report, "Carting Away the Oceans: How Grocery Stores are Emptying the Seas," is available at It includes a state-by-state search engine of seafood markets.

Meanwhile, here are  Greenpeace's rankings of the stores:
1. Whole Foods Market
2. Ahold USA (Stop & Shop, Giant)
3. Target
4. Harris Teeter
5. WalMart
6. Safeway (Dominicks, Genuardi's, Randall's, Von's)
7. Wegmans
8. Kroger (Baker's, City Market, Dillon's, Own's, PayLess, Ralph's, Scott's, Smith's, Quality Food Center - QFC)
9. Aldi
10. Costco
11. A & P (Food Emporium, Pathmark, Super Fresh, Waldbaum's)
12. Giant Eagle
13. Publix
14. Winn-Dixie
15. Delhaize (Bloom, Food Lion, Hannaford Bros., Sweetbay)
16. Supervalu (Acme, Albertson's, Bristol Farms, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's)
17. Trader Joe's
18. Meijer
19. H.E. Butt (H.E.B., Central Market)
20. Price Chopper

A Supervalu spokeswoman responded to that store's ranking with the following e-mailed statement: "Supervalu's goal is to provide our customers with the widest variety and freshest selection of quality products possible. Because seafood sustainability is an important issue for Supervalu, we will continue to monitor and ensure compliance of the vendor community with government regulations, will support programs that are adopted as industry standards, and will stay attuned to new technologies that support the seafood industry."

In the June report, Greenpeace concluded all 20 chains  were "ignoring scientific warnings about the crisis facing global fisheries and the marine environment when they stock their shelves with seafood."

Also, none of the companies had policies and practices that guaranteed they wouldn't sell seafood from fisheries that are harming sea turtles, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals.