Sustainable seafood goal
During the past 50 years, demand for seafood has increased five-fold, with an estimated three quarters of the world's fisheries being fished at or beyond sustainable limits. At the same time, an estimated 1 billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein, while another 200 million rely on the industry as their main source of income.
In April 2010, Walmart Canada committed to bring only sustainably sourced frozen, wild and farmed fish to its customers by 2013. The initiative supports our long-term sustainability goal to sell products that sustain people and the environment. This Sustainable Seafood Policy aims to:
- Source wild-caught fresh and frozen fish certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard
- Ensure farm-raised fish suppliers adhere to Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)
- Source canned tuna from an International Seafood Sustainability Foundation member
Across our global operations, we are encouraging seafood suppliers to strengthen fishery management practices, rebuild stocks, reduce environmental impacts and support broader marine ecosystem management and protection efforts.
Expanding our sustainable seafood commitment
As of January 28, 2011, in aggregate, 73 percent of the total pounds of wild fish and farmed seafood sold at Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club was certified. This is measured by the percentage of total volume of wild-caught fish that is MSC-certified and of farm-raised fish that is Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC)-certified. While this represents substantial progress toward our original goal of purchasing all wild-caught fish from certified fisheries by 2011, we expanded our commitment in 2010.
- We broadened our commitment from fish to all seafood, which brings in shrimp, crab, lobster and other varieties. This also covers both wild-caught and farm-raised seafood.
- We now require one of the following: MSC certification, BAP certification or equivalent standards.
A significant proportion of the world's fisheries/facilities do not currently meet internationally accepted standards of sustainability. For those operations, rather than simply discontinue sourcing, we would rather use our buying power to provide both an incentive and a path to achieve sustainability.
As our overall goal is to increase the availability of sustainable seafood globally, we now require currently uncertified fisheries and aquaculture suppliers to develop work plans to achieve certification and report progress biannually. Plans must be in development by May 2011 and finalized and under way no later than June 2012.