Costco Expands List of Endangered Fish It Won’t Sell


While Whole Foods has whimped out on its imperative to safeguard endangered ocean fish — as reported by Fork in the Road — Costco manned up last August and declared an outright sales ban on seven fish species that are among the most stressed worldwide.

These fish, according to, include Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut, Chilean sea bass, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, and bluefin tuna. Most are still to be found at Whole Foods, though marked with a warning label that is intended to be part of a gradual phase-out at the supposedly earth-friendly organic grocery giant.

Now five more species have been added to Costco’s won’t sell list: monkfish, redfish, Greenland halibut, grouper, and all rays and skates.

Costco will also be conferring with the World Wildlife Fund on the subject of farm-raised shrimp and salmon. The former are notorious for despoiling vast sections of the Southeast Asian coastline and supplanting sustainable fisheries in these areas, the latter for being carnivorously fed bycatch that represents, not only unsustainable fishing practices, but also the demise of the young of many seagoing species deemed “uncommercial.”

This breakthrough was partly the result of a nationwide campaign on the part of Greenpeace and Sierra Club, and some say it doesn’t go far enough, but for the moment we can all breathe a small sigh of relief.

Here is Costco’s current Sustainability Statement.

Thanks to Fork in the Road San Francisco correspondent Tracy Van Dyk (@tracyjane) for the link.

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