Wal-Mart Fishing for Solutions to Sustainable Seafood

A retail giant could help sustain ocean fish.

| September/October 2006

The Bad News 

Increased demand for seafood and shellfish has resulted in both overfishing and ecologically damaging fishing methods. It’s estimated that at least 25 percent of the world’s fish populations are dangerously depleted. Overfishing is terrible for ocean ecosystems and disastrous for global economies. Scarce fish means fewer fishing jobs and less protein for people in the world’s poorest regions.

The Good News

Wal-Mart, the largest food retailer in the United States, has announced its intention to sell sustainable seafood. Over the next three to five years, it will take steps to source all its wild-caught fresh and frozen fish for the North American market from fisheries that meet Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainable standards. Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund are working with Wal-Mart and its suppliers to help bring more fisheries into compliance with MSC certification.

More Good News

Wal-Mart is planning to sell more organic produce and meat. Also, the corporation is reportedly eyeing ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its stores and distribution centers, increase its truck-fleet fuel efficiency, and design more energy-efficient stores.

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