March 18, 2009
Some of you have undoubtedly already received letters from Greenpeace announcing its intention to, once again, publish a seafood sustainability retailer ranking list.
You will remember the original list was published in June of 2008. Regardless of whether a retailer completed Greenpeace’s questionnaire all stores surveyed failed. In fact some stores that chose not to respond actually fared better in the ranking than some that did respond.
This current manifestation of the retailer ranking effort is essentially the same campaign. While the questions have changed slightly and the forms are different, the intent appears to be the same.
Once again, many of the species Greenpeace is targeting are certified sustainable by independent groups and some are considered clear examples of success stories built on responsible fisheries management.
Throughout this process the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) has reiterated to retailers that engagement with Greenpeace is a perilous proposition. History has proven that cooperation and interaction only leads to further and increasingly unreasonable demands.
As evidence, please remember Greenpeace updated its retailer rankings on December 9, 2008 and celebrated its so called “major impact on grocery retailers.” While its press release publicly touted progress, that very same day Greenpeace campaigner John Hocevar privately sent out an email to supporters telling "friends" of the organization that "...we've decided to make YOU the industry's worst nightmare." Greenpeace’s own words illustrate the fact that it has no intention of being a partner on this issue:
Dear [[supporter, First_Name]] December 9, 2008
We're witnessing the shocking consequences that over-fishing has caused in the Bering Sea - threatening the entire ecosystem with collapse. And the Bering Sea is just the tip of the iceberg.
Destructive fishing is one of the most significant threats facing our oceans today. Three-quarters of global fish stocks are suffering from over-fishing, and 90% of top ocean predators like tuna and sharks are already gone. In fact, scientists predict that if current trends continue, global fisheries around the world will completely collapse in the next 40 years.
This ecological crisis is like the economic crisis we're suffering now. The fishery management councils who set catch limits for fish are run by the seafood industry - and we know all too well what happens when we allow industry to monitor itself. But an ecological collapse in our oceans isn't something we can recover from. We can't allow it to happen.
So we've decided to make YOU the industry's worst nightmare. Supermarkets ring up almost $16 billion in seafood sales every year. If large grocery store chains change their seafood policies, it will have a major impact on the entire seafood industry - and on all of our oceans.
Take Action. Tell your local grocery store to put an end to ocean destruction!
NFI is prepared to assist you, if you desire, throughout this process. Please feel free to refer any and all media requests about this subject directly to NFI.
Let’s continue to work together to blunt Greenpeace’s unfair demands and irresponsible tactics.
We welcome your ideas on how to further support you in your efforts to ensure a sustainable seafood supply.
If you have comments, suggestions or ideas, please contact me at 1-703-752-8881 or
National Fisheries Institute
For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com.