Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

Working with grocery retailers to grow the demand for more sustainably produced farmed salmon

Atlantic salmon filets

People around the world are increasingly aware of the crisis facing global fish stocks. Many wild fish species are in decline and there is growing demand for more ocean friendly options in grocery stores. Living Oceans has led CAAR’s markets campaign since its inception. We encourage shoppers and retailers to demand more sustainably produced farmed salmon. Thanks to your help, our efforts are being rewarded with significant steps by leading grocery chains.

Overwaitea Food Group is now the exclusive retailer of coho salmon farmed in closed containment. The fish are raised in a land-based re-circulating aquaculture facility in Washington State. Overwaitea Group stores throughout B.C. and Alberta (including Save-On Foods, Price Smart, Urban Fare and others) have reported positive customer response to this more responsible product. Due to the success of the closed containment coho, Overwaitea has written to the Canadian government, encouraging federal investment to develop closed containment pilot projects in B.C.

Safeway North America was an early focus of Living Oceans Society’s and CAAR’s markets campaign. Advertising, consumer outreach and face to face meetings were all used to encourage this major retailer to demand more sustainable farmed salmon from its suppliers. Our campaigners hosted Safeway Canada’s CEO on a tour of Broughton Archipelago fish farms where he met with First Nations and scientists studying farm impacts on wild fish. This visit was a deciding factor in changing the compan's purchasing policies; Safeway will source his seafood (fresh or frozen) from sustainable suppliers with traceable sources and/or will engage in an improving project toward a more sustainable seafood store policy by 2015.

Through our role in SeaChoice, Living Oceans will continue our outreach to leading retailers, helping them to develop and implement sustainable seafood policies and encourage the transition to more sustainable closed containment production of farmed salmon.