Sustainable Wild-Caught Seafood

When you shop for wild-caught seafood, you may wonder where it comes from and whether supplies are dwindling. No worries in our seafood department. Fresh or frozen, we have traceability from fishery to store. And, we only sell wild-caught seafood from fisheries that are certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or rated either “Green” or “Yellow” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and The Safina Center. We don’t sell any of the red-rated seafood you might find at other grocery stores. 

Wild-Caught Seafood Sustainability Logos at Whole Foods Market®

From well-managed fisheries; caught in ways that cause little harm to habitats or other wildlife.

From fisheries where there are some concerns with how species are caught or managed.

 

What you won't find in our Seafood Department:

We don’t sell red-rated seafood. Overfished, poorly managed, or caught in ways that cause harm to habitats or other wildlife.

  • Atlantic Halibut (from specific areas and catch methods rated "red" by our partners)
  • Gray Sole (Atlantic)
  • Orange Roughy
  • Octopus (from specific areas and catch methods rated "red" by our partners)
  • Skate Wing (unless MSC-certified)
  • Sturgeon
  • Swordfish (from specific areas and catch methods rated "red" by our partners)
  • Tautog
  • Trawl-caught Atlantic Cod
  • Tuna (from specific areas and catch methods rated "red" by our partners)
  • Turbot (specific regions only - see local store for details)
  • Imported wild shrimp
  • Rockfish (only certain species)

Note: Ratings may change as our partners update their fishery assessments.

Our Partners in Seafood Sustainability 

Marine Stewardship Council

 

In 1999, Whole Foods Market became the first U.S. retailer to collaborate with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world’s leading certification program for sustainable wild-caught seafood. They use a multi-stakeholder, international approach to provide incentives for fisheries to address key issues such as overfishing and bycatch. Fisheries are evaluated by experts from independent agencies to determine whether the population is maintained at healthy levels, the ecosystem is intact and the fishery management system is effective.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and The Safina Center

In 2010, we began partnering with nonprofits Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Safina Center to provide color-coded sustainability ratings for wild-caught seafood we offer that is not certified by Marine Stewardship Council. On Earth Day 2012, we stopped selling any red-rated seafood so that every choice in our seafood department is a responsible choice.

Looking for more about seafood at Whole Foods Market? Here’s how we do farmed seafood better. And check out our seafood FAQ.