Monday, August 24, 2009

Traitor Joe's strikes again: the seafood scandal

I have been blogging about excessive waste of plastic used to package vegetables at Traitor Joe's, but now I have stumbled upon other very disturbing TJ practices.

Trader Joe's sells extremely unsustainable seafood. In fact, it sells 15 of 22 redlist seafoods. What is the redlist of seafood? This includes seafood that:
  • They have a life history that makes them very vulnerable to fishing
  • They are commonly sourced from overfished and depleted stocks, or are being fished at such a high rate that stocks are being depleted rapidly
  • The fishing methods used to catch the fish are often highly destructive to other oceans creatures and/or habitats. more info
Greenpeace has launched a campaign against Traitor Joe's, demanding more sustainable seafood policies. Here is the quirky sum, written from the witty 1st perspective of Trader Joe himself:

Did you know that Chilean sea bass is one of the most sought-after fish in the world? They are so scarce, I have to hire pirates to help me catch them and secretly put them on store shelves. Unless people stop eating Chilean sea bass, it may become commercially extinct within five years. Whoa! Maybe I can sell more and more and the fish will become commercially extinct in 3 years. That's the Traitor Joe way of doing business.

Another one of my favorite fish to sell is orange roughy. They live in deep cold waters, hiding among seamounts and canyons. The way to catch orange roughy is to use a big bottom trawl. It scoops up and destroys everything in its path. So, when you buy an orange roughy, it comes with a side of tree coral, deep-sea sharks, dogfish and deep-sea catfish. Now, I say that's getting your money’s worth! more info

Tell Traitor Joe's that you do not stand for unsustainable fishing practices--and remind the store manager next time you're in.

Aside from the sheer disregard for our scarce natural resources, TJ deceives consumers through attempting to greenwash itself. If a store knowingly acquires fish from methods including bottom trawling (when a net scrapes the bottom of the ocean floor, collecting/destroying coral reef and other sea life in the way...not to mention the coral may be 100s of years old...), that is a spit in the face of sustainability.


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