Acceptance of sustainable seafood increases

Supermarket Perimeter –

The increase in the amount of sustainable seafood sold in the retail grocery perimeter has been significant, but there’s still ample room to grow, industry experts say.

In its 20 years of existence, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), whose U.S. headquarters is in Washington, D.C., has logged about 1,200 cases worldwide of fisheries improving their sustainability records as they move toward earning MSC certification, says Brian Perkins, the group’s regional director for the Americas.

The MSC is an international non-profit that certifies fisheries that meet stringent sustainability standards aimed at protecting fish populations and the health of oceans. Fisheries approved by MSC can use the group’s blue oval-shaped seal on their products.

That tally of improved sustainability records represents a big success story. But the success hasn’t been evenly divided between the two sides of the Atlantic, Perkins says.

“Certainly in Europe, there’s been incredible success. The U.S. has been slower to respond,” he says. “There’s a challenge in persuading retailers and processors to use the MSC label on their packs.”

Bill Carvalho, founder of McKinleyville, California-based Wild Planet Foods, whose tuna is rated No. 1 for sustainability by Greenpeace, says sustainable seafood’s gains at retail have been a mixed bag.

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