Greenpeace’s Carting Away the Oceans seafood sustainability scorecard has lauded Target in the past for its green seafood policies. Now the chain is getting even more kudos for its announcement that it replace farmed salmon with the much more sustainable Alaskan wild salmon. It is a move that could, according to Greenpeace, have a ripple effect in the world of seafood retailers.
Target announced that the reason they are discontinuing the sale of farmed salmon is because of the significant environmental degradation it causes. Aquaculture (farming fish) is often called the future of the seafood industry, but some types of aquaculture–such as conventional open-net salmon farming–can cause tremendous damage to the environment. Parasite infestations, concentrated fish waste, the uncontrolled spread of genetic material, and the unsustainable use of wild fish to feed farmed animals all pose significant threats to the sanctity of our marine ecosystems.
Undoubtedly Greenpeace’s prodding also had something to do with the decision. There’s still plenty of work to be done among seafood retailers–Trader Joe’s is billed by Greenpeace as “your one-stop shop for ocean destruction” thanks to its continued sale of endangered “red list” seafood like Chilean sea bass and orange roughy.