Coles to apply ‘sustainable seafood’ message for all fresh fish

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 14th February 2012

Coles has announced that it will be the first Australian supermarket group to apply a sustainable seafood message to all fresh fish in stores giving customers an option of sustainability when shopping for seafood.

The new Coles sustainability message will be introduced to fresh fish counters at the end of February 2012 and follows a year-long review of all Coles’ fresh fish by leading marine experts from World Wildlife Fund (WFF) – Australia.

The WWF made nearly 300 assessments covering every fishery supplying fresh wild caught fish to Coles. Those found to be from well-managed fisheries, caught using fishing methods that reduce environmental damage and unintentional by-catch, will now be highlighted to consumers as a better choice for sustainable seafood.

The assessments that were conducted found almost 90 percent of wild caught fresh fish sold at Coles is a sustainable choice with just 11 percent (33 assessments) considered unsustainable based on current fishing practices.

Coles said that it and the World Wildlife Fund and the fish suppliers had been working with the relevant fisheries on an action plan to address sustainability concerns. Work was now underway with some unsustainable fisheries and other fisheries identified as having less serious sustainability issues.

Coles said it had they have stopped selling all threatened, endangered or protected species of seafood.

Coles’ trials of the ‘Sustainable Seafood’ message had already proved popular with customers with sales of fresh fish increasing by 18 percent following its introduction in two Melbourne stores.

Coles Business Category Manager, Jon Haggett said, “Australians are eating more seafood than ever and as we move into Lent later this month when fresh fish sales traditionally increase by as much as 85 percent, it’s even more important that we can offer customers reassurance that the seafood they buy is sustainable and will be available for future generations to enjoy”.

As previously reported in Australian Food News, Simplot’s John West seafood division has also recently signed a ‘sustainable seafood’ partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which is also to be carried out at the end of February 2012.