business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Portland Press Herald reports that Whole Foods said it "won't offer Gulf of Maine lobster until it again has an eco-friendly certification or is removed from the Seafood Watch 'red list' … Last week, the Marine Stewardship Council announced that it is suspending the certification of sustainability for the fishery, citing its failure to comply with laws designed to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The suspension from the London-based watchdog is effective Dec. 15."

“As part of our commitment to responsible sourcing, we only sell wild-caught seafood from fisheries that are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or rated either ‘Green’ or ‘Yellow’ by the MBA Seafood Watch program,” a Whole Foods Market spokesperson said in a statement. “These third-party verifications and ratings are critical to maintaining the integrity of our standards for all wild-caught seafood found in our seafood department. … We are closely monitoring this situation and are committed to working with suppliers, fisheries, and environmental advocacy groups as it develops.”

According to the story, "Marianne LaCroix, executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative said it was disappointing to know that Whole Foods will no longer carry Maine lobster, despite the fishery’s long history of sustainability and commitment to protecting the whales.   'The MSC certification was suspended due to flaws with the National Marine Fisheries Service regulatory plan, so there is nothing that the fishermen themselves can do to rectify the problem,' she said, adding that the collaborative is working to educate buyers on the fishery’s sustainability efforts."