MONTREAL — A new Greenpeace report claims Canada’s major supermarket chains are failing to provide Canadians with seafood that is sustainably caught and farmed.

The report, Out of Stock, Out of Excuses: Ranking retailers on seafood sustainability shows some retailers have made progress on providing sustainable seafood while others are ignoring the problem.

The report ranks the major chains on seven criteria, including: the quality of their seafood policies, the level of information they provide on how and where the seafood they sell is caught or farmed, and the number of Redlist species they sell. Greenpeace released the report in Montreal at a news conference Friday morning.

“Our analysis shows that major supermarket chains are still part of the problem of destroying our oceans and destroying seafood,” said Beth Hunter, Greenpeace oceans campaign coordinator.

“Some chains have taken steps in the right direction, but all need to take bigger strides to ensure there will be fish in the future. Supermarkets are selling out our oceans and selling themselves out of stock.”

Greenpeace’s report gives the chains the following grades (out of 10):


Loblaw 2.4;

Sobeys 1.1;

Wal-mart 1.0;

Overwaitea 0.9;

Federated Co-Operatives 0.9;

Costco 0.7;

Safeway 0.3;

Metro 0.1.

Greenpeace says it will confront grocery stores in 19 cities in five provinces over the next few weeks. Greenpeace will bring the message to store managers and customers that Canadian supermarket chains must move quickly to implement sustainable seafood policies.

In the new report ranking supermarkets, Loblaw received the highest overall score because it released a sustainable seafood policy that would see the company only selling sustainable seafood by 2013.

However, Greenpeace says the policy is short on detail and is not yet implemented, so Loblaw did not receive a passing mark. The Metro chain received the lowest ranking, in part because it has no plan to develop a sustainable seafood policy.

"There is an urgent need for all supermarkets to heed the message of our campaign: Don’t buy, don’t sell Redlist fish,” said Sarah King, Greenpeace oceans campaigner.

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