Eating sustainably wild-caught and farm-raised fish helps to ensure the variety of fish we enjoy now will be available in the future. But what does seafood sustainability mean, and how do you know if what you’re buying was sourced sustainably?
What is seafood sustainability?
Seafood sustainability means catching fish in ways that won’t negatively impact the long-term viability of their species or the ocean. By protecting wild fish and ocean habitats, we can continue to have the fish we need to support our population now and into the future. Following sustainable fishing practices means fisheries and fish will continue to thrive and provide a socially conscious work environment for fishery workers, which contributes to the economic success of the industry.
There are two main types of sustainable seafood: wild-caught and farm-raised.
- Wild-caught seafood is caught in open waters in its natural habitat. Sustainable fishing methods are selective to the fish being sought, and avoid net dragging and other methods that destroy habitats.
- Farm-raised seafood is quite literally raised on marine farms. Aquaculture, as it’s also called, helps rebuild protected species and marine habitats, and ensures the availability of food in many parts of the world.
How does Kroger encourage sustainability?
We’ve been working with our partner World Wildlife Fund since 2009, when we launched our seafood sustainability policy, which inspired others within the industry to act as well. Through this partnership, we’ve identified health and environmental impacts of fisheries and helped drive improvements in the seafood supply chain that will allow for a more sustainable sourcing of seafood in the future.
Fishery Improvement Projects provide a step-wise approach for fisheries to achieve Marine Stewardship Council certification. In 2019 alone, Kroger supported 25 FIPs through funding, sourcing or both. Kroger is one of the largest U.S. supporters of FIPs, and through the FIPs we’ve supported, we’ve affected over 300,000 fishers and other local workers, and have ensured that more than 52 million pounds of seafood were sustainably sourced.
Kroger advocated for the use of fishing equipment that reduces the incidental catch of sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and other finfish while catching tuna. Today, this practice is widely adopted.
What’s Kroger doing to impact future sustainability?
At Kroger, we’re dedicated to improving sustainability in seafood and other food groups. We’ve set long-term goals to reduce environmental and social impacts of the products carried in our stores, and continue our progress toward more sustainable, responsible and traceable food systems. One of the best ways we can do this is through responsible sourcing. Here’s how we’re working to sustainably source seafood:
- Kroger’s Seafood Department is currently sourcing 88% of wild-caught fresh and frozen seafood species from sustainable sources, including 71% from Marine Stewardship Council-certified sources.
- Currently, 96% of the farm-raised seafood we procured in our Seafood Department is from sustainable sources.
- 100% of our shelf-stable tuna comes from companies aligned with the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation.
To read more about our commitment to sustainability in seafood and other foods, and our progress on long-term goals, head over to our 2020 Sustainability Goals report.
You can shop sustainably at Kroger.
Ready to shop—and cook—sustainably? Our Seafood Department is packed with wild-caught and farm-raised options, including Atlantic salmon fillets, freshwater shrimp and Pacific cod. Try these easy recipe ideas to get dinner started: