Protesters held a mock funeral for declining Atlantic Cod stocks outside the Sobeys on Queen Street in north-end Halifax on Thursday.
Eight Greenpeace members clad in black followed a hearse into the parking lot around 11 a.m., and removed a coffin from the back. Inside the coffin, which was laid outside the store’s main entrance, was a rotting cod head.
Within minutes, the protest moved off the property at the request of Sobeys employees.
Greenpeace spokeswoman Sarah King, of Vancouver, said Sobeys has a responsibility to protect the species future.
“Atlantic cod stocks have seen declines over the past decades and we continue to fish them to death,” King said. “As a Maritime company, (Sobeys has) an added responsibility to ensure a future for the seafood that they sell… They should be stewards of the ocean, not fishing them to death.”
King added Sobeys was not the only ones responsible for the decline in stocks, but said they were the only retailer that refused to act on Greenpeace urgings to address the problem.
“Everybody has a responsibility,” she said. “The Department of Fisheries and Oceans sets the quotas. They set it from pressure from the fisheries. And the fisheries are fishing it because consumers and retailers want to sell it.”
Representatives from Sobeys did not return calls on Thursday.