Whole Foods Cops Out on Fork in the Road’s Challenge to Stop Selling Severely Endangered Seafood Immediately


The confusing Whole Foods “dot” identification system for seafood.

In a press release that just hit our email box at Fork in the Road, Whole Foods announces the chain-wide implementation of their color-coding system for identifying fish according to sustainability, as certified by the Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium. The color-coding system was in the works for a long time, but the press release also announces a date for cessation of selling the most endangered fish (cod, halibut, grey sole, etc.), those designated with a red dot: Earth Day, 2013.

Our original challenge to Whole Foods, and their response.

Nice try, Whole Foods, but totally inadequate! You should stop selling the “red dot” (extremely endangered) fish immediately. What’s the purpose of selling these severely overfished species for three more years? To exterminate them completely?

The text of the press release follows:

Whole Foods Market® empowers shoppers to make sustainable seafood choices with color-coded rating system.

Partners with Monterey Bay Aquarium and Blue Ocean Institute to create science-based wild-caught seafood rating program; plans to phase out red-rated species

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 13, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) today launches the first in-store color-coded sustainability-rating program for wild-caught seafood and commits to phasing out all red-rated species by Earth Day 2013. Through partnerships with Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium, Whole Foods Market is the first national grocer to provide a comprehensive sustainability rating system for wild-caught seafood.