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Greenpeace Targets Costco on Seafood

Company Sells ‘Red Listed’ Species at Risk of Extinction

SEATTLE - Citing the company’s lack of a transparent and meaningful
sustainable seafood policy, Greenpeace launched the next phase of its
sustainable seafood campaign today targeting Costco.
Although Costco tells its shareholders and customers that it supports
sustainable seafood, it sells 15 of the 22 ‘red-listed’ seafoods
including two of the world’s most critically imperiled species: orange
roughy and Chilean sea bass. ‘Red listed’ species which are at risk of
extinction are determined by the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) which is the world’s
leading authority on the conservation status of species.

"As the third largest retailer in the United States and one of the
largest seafood retailers, the scope of Costco’s impact on ocean
ecosystems is tremendous,“ said Greenpeace markets campaigner Casson
Trenor. “Unfortunately, it clearly puts short-term profits before
sustainability and its lack of transparency in labeling leaves its
customers without any guidance. It’s time for Costco to take
responsibility for the impact it is having on our oceans.”

Costco is one of 20 seafood retailers profiled in Greenpeace’s
sustainable seafood guide, Carting Away the Oceans (CATO), which is
published each year based on an analysis of sustainable seafood policies
and practices among major retailers. Since CATO’s inception in 2008,
the Costco Corporation has continually proven to be one of the poorest
performing big box stores in the United States in terms of seafood
sustainability. Of the 20 largest supermarket chains in the United
States, Costco has made no visible effort to increase the sustainability
of their seafood operations and continues to ignore scientific warnings
about the crisis facing global fisheries and the marine environment.

According to leading scientists, unless current fishing practices
change, global fish stocks will collapse by the middle of the century.
However, while Costco mentions sustainable seafood in its ‘Corporate
Sustainability Report’, the company offers no tangible information or
solutions and ultimately dodges the issues in substance.

“We don’t expect Costco to fully agree with us,” said Trenor. “But as a
major seafood purveyor, Costco must treat our oceans responsibly. It’s
time they admitted they have a problem and changed their behavior.”


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Greenpeace urges Costco to implement a sustainable seafood policy, offer
transparency in its seafood labeling, and stop selling red list seafood
– starting immediately with orange roughy and Chilean sea bass.

To help ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries and marine
ecosystems, Greenpeace advocates the creation of a worldwide network of
marine reserves and fisheries management that is based on a
precautionary, ecosystem-based approach. Today, supermarkets can help
the oceans and meet consumer demand for sustainable products by refusing
to sell seafood from fisheries that:

 exploit endangered, vulnerable and/or protected species, or species
with poor stock status;
 cause habitat destruction and/or lead to ecosystem alterations;
 cause negative impacts on other, non-target species;
 are unregulated, unreported, illegal or managed poorly, and
 cause negative impacts on local, fishing dependent communities.


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