Ethical Eating

Whole Foods Offers Sustainable Swordfish for Summer

It was less than six months ago that national retailer Target completely ditched farm-raised salmon in favor of the environmentally conscious wild-caught variety. Now Whole Foods is getting in on the action. The national retailer has announced it will carry only Marine Stewardship Council-certified sustainable swordfish from Nova Scotia this summer.

Not too long ago, swordfish was widely considered overfished. Over the past ten years, national efforts to keep

the animal off plates have allowed North Atlantic stocks to rebuild. But the fish isn't considered to be out of deep water yet. Greenpeace this year red-listed swordfish,

saying the species is still the subject of unsustainable and

destructive fishing practices that have a negative impact on

surrounding natural habitats.

The Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List,

on the other hand, rates North Atlantic and Hawaiian swordfish as a

"best choice" fish. Yet, it also warns against purchasing the imported

variety. Restrictions against longline fishing, which threatens species

such as sea turtles, seabirds, and sharks, don't exist outside of North

American waters.

The Nova Scotia swordfish stocked by Whole

Foods is harpoon-caught, a method widely considered the most

sustainable. Because most of the fleet responsible for the stock is

composed of small, family-run vessels, the time from dock to table on

this type of swordfish is usually less than 48 hours. It also has very

low environmental impact.

It's good news that national retailers like Target and Whole Foods are getting on board with sustainable fishing.

Gulf Seafood Hotline


Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has partnered

with retailers on a program to support the Florida seafood industry.

Stores such as Publix, Kroger, and Central Market will be promoting

Gulf seafood through August 16 with signs that say "Florida Gulf Safe"

and "Fresh From Florida Seafood." Florida Agriculture Commissioner

Charles H. Bronson said, "This promotion will help get out the message

that Florida seafood is safe, plentiful, and available."


with questions about the safety, pricing, or availability of Florida

Gulf seafood now have a hotline to call too. Reach the toll-free

Florida Seafood Hotline at 800-357-4273. Or you can visit