ASDA removes “unsustainable” seafood from shelves Published: 19 January, 2006
UK retail giant ASDA has confirmed it has removed Skate Wings, Ling, Huss (Dog Fish) and Dover Sole from its shelves following claims from the environmental group Greenpeace that the species are unsustainable.
A spokesperson for ASDA told FISHupdate this morning it has been been discussing sustainable fish policies with Greenpeace for some time and met with representatives just last week.
He said the retailer was therefore “surprised” when Greenpeace staged a protest at its Leeds headquarters this week.
“We’ve been drawing up a policy which we expect to publish soon,” he told FISHupdate.
“However, it was an opportunity to bring Greenpeace up to date and let them know that we took Skate Wings, Ling, Huss (Dog Fish) and Dover Sole off sale last week. We also told them that we will be introducing a sustainably sourced “fish of the month” and have asked for their advice about which species that should be. We’ll be taking another look at policy on sourcing Marlin and Swordfish as part of that review and will be keeping in touch with them about this.”
Earlier this week Greenpeace climbers scaled a building at ASDA’s Leeds Headquarters and hung a massive banner with the ASDA logo and catchphrase ‘That’s ASDA Price’ against a backdrop of mutilated and wasted fish caught as bycatch during destructive fishing.
At the same time volunteers dressed as ‘fishmongers,’ accompanied by a mobile advertising van displaying the same billboard poster, toured the city, visited one of ASDA’s local stores to deliver the message to the supermarket’s customers.
A statement published by Greenpeace said:
“We took this action because, despite our many meetings with them, ASDA had consistently refused to change their buying policies. In our report Supermarkets’ Insatiable Appetite for Seafood (released in October 2005), we named ASDA as the worst performing UK supermarket on seafood. At the same time we asked them to take immediate action to remove 14 of the most destructively fished species from their shelves, a request we had repeated in four face-to-meetings.”
Greenpeace says ASDA came “rock bottom” of its recent league table with the least sustainable seafood policy of any UK supermarket. It was found to be selling at least 13 species on Greenpeace’s ‘danger list’ including swordfish, marlin and Atlantic cod.
Greenpeace says it will continue to campaign against the seafood policies of the UK’s major supermarket chains, with the exception of Waitrose and Marks & Spencer which it says already have strong policies on sourcing sustainable seafood.
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