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A new report by the WorldFish Center and Conservation International has found that aquaculture is more efficient and less environmentally damaging that other forms of animal protein production. Not surprisingly, it was found that the environmental impact of aquaculture varies by country, region, production system and species. The report - titled Blue Frontiers: Managing the environmental costs of aquaculture - assessed 75 species-productions systems over a period of two years and is considered the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken. The report concluded that eel aquaculture has the greatest environmental impact, followed by Salmon and Shrimp. Demand for farmed seafood will continue to grow over the next two decades - reaching 65-85 million metric tons by 2020 and 79-110 million metric tons by 2030. The industry needs to meet this demand with improved efficiencies and reduced environmental impacts.


Wakefern Food Corp. - the US's largest retailer-owned cooperative comprising of 47 member companies - has adopted the Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices. This ensures that Wakefern's farm-raised seafood suppliers are employing environmentally and socially responsible practices. Wakefern operates under the ShopRite retail banner in six states - New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.


Supervalu Inc. - a nation-wide grocery retailer - has committed to buying all of its Top 20 wild-caught seafood products from sustainable fisheries by 2015. These products will be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, under full assessment or involved in a fishery improvement plan. Supervalu recently placed 18th out of 20 on Greenpeace's annual report that evaluates sustainable seafood practices adopted by US retailers. Supervalu partnered with the World Wildlife Fund last year - but had not progressed its sustainable seafood policy until this week.


Seven months ago, Whole Foods Market launched a color-coded sustainable seafood system. This week - the US's largest natural food retailer - announced a commitment to stop selling all red-rated Tuna and Swordfish products. Red-rated wild seafood - aside from Atlantic Cod and Sole - will be phased out of stores by Earth Day, 2012. Atlantic Cod and Sole will be gone by Earth Day, 2013.


Greenpeace has released the 5th edition of its "Carting Away the Oceans" report which grades major US retailers on their sustainable seafood sourcing policies. Since 2008, retailers have consistently improved. In 2008, all retailers failed; last year - just seven retailers passed - and this year, 15 out of 20 passed. The top score received was 64.61 - awarded to Safeway. Target - who ranked first last year - slipped to 2nd place, followed by Wegmans, Whole Foods, Ahold, Harris Teeter, Aldi, A&P, Price Chopper and Delhaize. The wide variety of retailers is indicative that sustainable seafood is no longer a niche trend - it has become mainstream.

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