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The New York Times reports that Whole Foods’ decision to stop selling seafood defined as unsustainable by the Blue Ocean Institute, a conservation group, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, has been greeted by New England fishermen with a fair amount of hostility.

According to the story, “Although the new policy will affect fishermen nationwide, the reaction from Gloucester and other New England ports may be the unhappiest. New England has more overfished stocks than any other region, according to federal monitors, and its fishing industry has bridled - and struggled to survive - under strict regulations ... Some question the need for grocery stores to reject certain American-caught fish when the government has already imposed its own conservation measures. Many of the nation’s fishermen now operate under federally created systems that allocate a yearly quota of fish.”

The general sense seems to be that Whole Foods’ new position is more related to marketing its environmental image than actual sustainability.
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