Haggen switches to sustainable seafood

BBJ Staff

Haggen shoppers will probably notice some changes at the seafood counter. Starting this month, Haggen stores are switching to selling only sustainable seafood from its fresh seafood department. It will use the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program to help shoppers identify the most sustainable products.

The program uses a color-coded system: green tags next to seafood identifies the “best choice,” products that are caught or farmed with minimal damage to the ecosystem or other species in it.

Yellow tags indicate a “good alternative,” where the seafood is still sustainable, but there are some concerns about the way it was caught or raised.

The Seafood Watch program also gives some seafood a red tag, to “avoid,” but Haggen won’t be selling anything that falls under that label.

In a press release, Haggen seafood sales manager Amber Thunder Eagle said the switch aligns with the store’s long-standing goal of sustainability.
“Through our personal relationships with local fishers, we’ve been able to verify many of our sources firsthand,” she said. “Providing even broader source transparency is something that we’re really excited about.”

The Monterey Bay Aquarium started the Seafood Watch program in 1999. The program is used by 1,000 businesses across North America to inform purchasing decisions. It gives fisheries their ratings based on a number of standards, including how abundant the species is, how the seafood is captured and the impact the fishing has on the environment. Standards The program gives aquaculture systems a rating based on factors like what the fish are fed, how the waste is managed and the risk of disease.

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