The website for Publix supermarkets states, "There are plenty of fish in the sea, but not all of them are good enough for Publix."
According to the environmental organization Greenpeace, that statement is all sorts of wrong. First, there are NOT plenty of fish in the sea, as scientific report after scientific report has warned in recent years. And second, if Publix is so picky about its seafood, why doesn't it have a sustainable seafood policy? Why doesn't it stop selling "red-listed" species such as Chilean sea bass and shark? Heck, why won't Publix's people even answer some simple questions about its fish?
See, Greenpeace today released its third-annual report called "Carting Away the Oceans: How Grocery Stores Are Emptying the Seas." The group ranks 20 of the nation's largest food retailers on their commitment to implementing policies and practices that will protect the world's seafood supply. Greenpeace says that its inaugural report was the first time many of these businesses had their seafood practices publicly scrutinized.
Although seven of the 20 supermarket chains received "passing" scores for sustainable seafood practices, none received a score of "good." South Florida's two most prominent grocery stores fall low on Greenpeace's list: Publix ranked number 15 and Winn-Dixie, 16. (Both Target -- number four -- and Wal-Mart -- number seven -- passed and were lauded for stopping the sale of declining species such as orange roughy, swordfish, and red snapper.)
Publix would not respond to Greenpeace's questions about its seafood policies. According to the report, the company sells 16 of 22 "red list" species including Alaskan pollock and Chilean sea bass, monkfish, and shark. Winn-Dixie likewise did not respond. It sells 12 of 22 red list species, has no sustainable seafood policy, and is not affiliated with any groups that work toward sustainable seafood practices.
At press time, the Juice was still waiting for spokespersons from Publix and Winn-Dixie to respond to requests for comment.